Justice for Women Allegedly Abducted and Assaulted as Payback for Protests

Target: Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, President of the United Nations Human Rights Council

Goal: Condemn brutality allegedly perpetrated against pro-democracy protesters.

Peaceful protesters around the world are under assault, and Zimbabwe has reportedly become one of the latest inflection points for this gross injustice. Earlier this month, three women advocating for democracy and for better treatment of the poor were arrested at a protest. Almost two days later, these women were discovered on a road side miles away, apparently beaten and sexually assaulted. Although their attackers wore masks, the women have little doubt that they had become victims of a state-sponsored “punishment” for daring to speak out against a government already charged with abducting and torturing dozens of protesters.

The atrocities the women allege they endured at a secluded cabin were horrific: “They beat me on my back, all over the body using sticks. They used a gun to beat us, then molested me,” one of the survivors recounted. Another woman added: “they were pouring water on us. They beat us if we stopped. They made us drink each other’s urine.” In addition to being forced to march and sing songs of protest, the abductors’ last chilling words solidified for the women that they were singled out for apparent political retribution. After throwing their victims onto an abandoned road, one of the men allegedly said, “we will be watching you … What is so special about you that you want to turn against the government?”

The government in question, meanwhile, is busy blaming “outside agitators” for the disturbing events and even casting doubt on the women’s accounts. Sign the petition below to join these survivors in their calls for international intervention in this despicable alleged assault on human dignity and fundamental human rights.


Dear Ms. Tichy-Fisslberger,

“They are in pain. One can’t talk. She is just crying. The police is no longer our police,” Unfortunately, these words have become an increasingly common theme that could be applied in too many countries around the world. This particular account, however, comes from a father in Zimbabwe who is watching his traumatized daughter live through the aftermath of a physical and sexual assault possibly masterminded by the highest levels of government.

Three female leaders of a pro-democracy protest were arrested. The next time anyone saw them, they were huddled on a roadside, where they had allegedly been dumped like garbage following a sustained torture session at a cabin. The last words these women heard after reportedly being stripped, beaten, molested, and humiliated were the following: “what is so special about you that you want to turn against the government?” This horrifying account hardly represents the first time the government of Emmerson Mnangagwa has stood accused of targeting and harming peaceful protesters.

Government officials who dismiss any charges of state violence as staged or as outside agitation will never ensure the justice needed. These women are asking for the international community’s support and intervention. Please stand up for them and stand with human rights advocates worldwide.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Jekesai Njikizana

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