Activist arrested for calling Mugabe ‘dead man walking’

Zimbabwean activist Sten Zvorwadza. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 11 October 2017
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Activist arrested for calling Mugabe ‘dead man walking’

HARARE: A Zimbabwean activist has been arrested after calling 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe “a dead man walking,” lawyers said Wednesday, in the latest case of authorities cracking down on dissent.
Sten Zvorwadza, the leader of a street vendor’s union, was charged with insulting or undermining the president in a press interview where he was also quoted as saying that Mugabe was “old” and “day-dreaming.”
Zvorwadza is a prominent anti-Mugabe campaigner who has led several demonstrations calling on the veteran leader to step down.
Zimbabwe’s worsening economy has seen many people resorting to informal street vending due to massive unemployment.
Zvorwadza is yet to appear in court, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) group said.
Authorities have often arrested critics of Mugabe, who has ruled since 1980.
In March, two journalists were arrested over a report that the president, who travels abroad for regular medical treatment, was “in bad shape.”
A pastor was also detained after prophesying that Mugabe would die on October 17 this year.
Last week police arrested a journalist who reported that Mugabe’s wife Grace had donated second-hand underwear to supporters.
Despite his advanced age and weakening health, Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party has endorsed him as its candidate for the 2018 general elections.


Pakistan orders custody for Hindu girls at center of quarrel with India

Updated 26 March 2019
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Pakistan orders custody for Hindu girls at center of quarrel with India

  • The teenagers left their home in mostly Muslim Pakistan’s southeastern province of Sindh on March 20 to be married in Punjab province
  • Police have detained ten people in the case over their marriages

KARACHI, Pakistan: A court in Pakistan on Tuesday ordered the government to take custody of two Hindu sisters allegedly kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam, police said, a case that triggered a quarrel with Hindu-majority neighbor India.
Police say the teenagers left their home in mostly Muslim Pakistan’s southeastern province of Sindh on March 20 to be married in Punjab province, where the law does not bar marriages of those younger than 18, unlike Sindh.
“The girls appeared before Islamabad High Court on Tuesday morning,” Farrukh Ali, a police official in their home district of Gothki, said by telephone.
“The court has directed the deputy commissioner to take their custody,” he added, referring to an administration official in the Pakistani capital.
The court set a deadline of next Tuesday for the submission of a report into an inquiry ordered by Prime Minister Imran Khan, and directed that the girls not return to Sindh until the case was resolved, broadcaster Geo Television said.
Police have detained ten people in the case over their marriages and registered a formal case of kidnapping and robbery by the teenagers, after complaints from their parents.
The incident prompted a rare public intervention by a top Indian official in its neighbor’s domestic affairs, when Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Twitter she had asked India’s ambassador in Pakistan for a report on news of it.
Pakistan was “totally behind the girls,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on social media in response to Swaraj’s Sunday message, but asked India to look after its own minority Muslims.
At a news conference on Sunday, he referred to religious riots in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat in 2002 that killed more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims.
In Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state, Pakistan accuses India of human rights violations, a charge New Delhi denies.
Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will seek a second term in a general election starting next month. He has taken a tougher stand toward Pakistan in the past five years.