Canada slams Maguwu detention


The Canadian government is outraged by the state’s treatment of incarcerated diamond rights researcher, Farai Maguwu.
The Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) has also condemned Maguwu’s continued detention saying it was irregular.
Lawrence Cannon, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, on Wednesday, said his government was unhappy with Maguwu’s arrest, detention and his alleged mistreatment by authorities.
The Canadian foreign minister said Maguwu’s arrest and continued detention was an attempt by Harare to conceal evidence on alleged human rights violations at the Chiadzwa diamond fields.
Maguwu was arrested last month and charged with communicating false information prejudicial to the state regarding activities at the controversial diamond fields in Manicaland.
“Canada condemns the conditions of Maguwu’s detention; they are evidence of a continued lack of respect for human rights and the rule of law in Zimbabwe,” said Cannon, in a statement
“Canada calls on the government of Zimbabwe to demonstrate its respect for the Kimberley Process, of which Zimbabwe is a member.
Certain Zimbabwean authorities appear to be committed to suppressing the evidence of illegal diamond activities in the Marange diamond fields, while working to intimidate and silence any who dare to speak out. Zimbabwe’s diamonds are a national resource.”
Cannon added that the Chiadzwa diamonds should not benefit only a select few, but the nation at large.
“Adherence to Kimberley Process principles and procedures can help make this happen,” he said.
“As a member of the Kimberley Process Working Group on Monitoring, Canada joins the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme chair, Boaz Hirsch, in expressing strong concern regarding the arrest and continued detention of civil society activist Farai Maguwu.”
He added: “Credible reports indicate that Zimbabwean authorities have denied Maguwu legal representation during interrogation, contravening both domestic and international law; abducted him from remand for further interrogation; refused him both bail and needed medication; and shackled him in leg irons while he lay in a hospital bed.”
His lawyers say Maguwu has fallen sick and is being denied medical care.
Tinoziva Bere, one of his lawyers said: “My client was operated on June 18 and the doctor recommended that he should be in hospital for 10 days. But on June 21 he was taken back to prison with his wounds still fresh and neck swollen.”
The LSZ said Maguwu was being inhumanely treated. “Since the time of his arrest concerns pertaining to inhumane treatment during his detention have arisen,” LSZ president, Josphat Tshuma said.
“It is reported that on June 4 2010 he was forced to sleep on the cold floor after blankets were taken away from him.
Resultantly, he developed a fever and throat infection and despite this he was consistently denied access to medical attention despite a court order of June 10 ordering that he be examined by a medical doctor.”