Zimbabwe: Assailants who violently attacked human rights lawyer Obey Shava must be held accountable

Jul 11, 2023 | News

The ICJ condemns the violent attacks on human rights lawyer, Obey Shava, who was severely beaten on 5 July by four unidentified assailants, leaving him with serious injuries, including broken legs. The Zimbabwean authorities must conduct a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation into his assault and bring to justice those responsible for the attack. They must also take measures to protect Obey Shava’s well-being and physical safety

Obey Shava is a human rights lawyer, co-founder of Shava Law Chambers, and a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR). He has been providing legal representation to activists from the Zimbabwean opposition party, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC). CCC spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere, described the incident as a cowardly act done at a time Shava has been litigating on behalf of her party in the double candidates fraud cases as well as electoral appeals that have emerged in the build-up to the country’s harmonized elections on August 23.

Following the attack on Shava, the Law Society of Zimbabwe issued a statement  stating  that this is not the first time that a human rights lawyer has been attacked in Zimbabwe. The statement cites previous attacks on Kudzayi Kadzere, as well as cyberbullying perpetrated against Fadzai Traquino.

We are deeply concerned that a human rights lawyer has been brutally attacked and hospitalized with serious injuries. Attacks on lawyers have the dire effect of undermining the rule of law within a State as lawyers should be able to provide legal representation without fear. We urge the State to ensure that Shava receives protection and that there is an investigation to identify and hold the perpetrators accountable. We urge the Zimbabwean authorities to ensure that lawyers are able to operate and represent clients without any fear of reprisals,” said ICJ Africa Director, Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh.



Mulesa Lumina, Legal and Communications Associate Officer (Africa Regional Programme), e: mulesa.lumina@icj.org

Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, Director (Africa Regional Programme), e: kaajal.keogh@icj.org

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