A Zimbabwean judge has ruled that 16 democracy and human rights activists must remain in jail over the New Year. They are charged with plotting to overthrow President Robert Mugabe, said Irene Petras, director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, a grantee of the National Endowment for Democracy.
On December 22, 2008, the Steering Committee of the World Movement for Democracy issued a statement on Zimbabwe, expressing its solidarity with the country’s democracy and human rights activists, including World Movement participants. The statement- signed on behalf of the Steering Committee by its chair, The Hon. Kim Campbell, former Prime Minister of Canada, and two other members, Michael Danby, an Australian member of parliament, and Jana Hybaskova, a Czech member of the European Parliament- calls for the immediate release of abducted democracy and human rights activists, including prominent human rights activist and Zimbabwe Peace Project leader Jestina Mukoko.
The Steering Committee urges the international community to act to protect Zimbabwean citizens from the severely deteriorating economic, health, and humanitarian situation, a consequence of the continuing political crisis.