Amnesty on Itai

Zimbabwe: Fear mounts for journalist abducted while at barbershop

Amnesty International

10 March 2015

Amid growing fear for the safety of abducted journalist and pro-democracy activist, Itai Dzamara, Amnesty International is calling on the Zimbabwe government to immediately investigate and ensure his safety. 

Itai Dzamara, was abducted yesterday, (9 March) by five men while he was at a barbers’ shop in Harare’s Glen View suburb. The abductors are said to have accused him of stealing cattle before handcuffing him, forcing him into a white truck with concealed number plates and driving off. He has not been seen since. 

“The abduction of Itai Dzamara is deeply alarming. The Zimbabwean authorities, especially the police, must urgently institute a search operation and do all within their power to ensure his safe return. There must be a full and thorough investigation into his abduction, with those responsible brought to justice,” said Noel Kututwa, Amnesty International Southern Africa’s Deputy Director for Research. 

Local activists have expressed fear that Itai Dzamara was abducted by State Security agents. Attempts by members of his family and human rights lawyers to establish his whereabouts have been fruitless. A report has been made at Glen Norah Police station in Harare where a case has been opened into his kidnapping. 

Itai Damara, leader of the Occupy Africa Unity Square protest group, previously submitted a petition to the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, calling on him to resign and pave way for fresh elections. In the past he has been arbitrarily arrested and severely beaten by both state security agents and members of the ruling ZANU-PF party for his activism.