Zimbabwe
Nailbiter continues for Peace Prize of the German Book Trade winner Tsitsi Dangarembga

Tsitsi Dangarembga

Tsitsi Dangarembga

© picture alliance / ASSOCIATED PRESS | Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger traveled to Harare, Zimbabwe, to attend court for the verdict in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s case. The Friedrich Naumann Foundation has been attending court and observing the trial since it started over two years ago.

After the conclusion of the evidentiary hearings and 29 court days, the verdict was scheduled for 26 August. However, for ostensibly procedural reasons, the verdict was postoned this morning to 29 September 2022. 

The attempts to demoralise Tsitsi Dangarembga and Julie Barnes continue. This show trial against the internationally renowned writer and filmmaker defies all rule of law standards. The trial in Harare is being conducted in the Anti-Corruption Court. This court reports directly to the President of Zimbabwe. The charges against Tsitsi Dangarembga are absurd. She was only carrying a placard with a general appeal for reforms in Zimbabwe. A placard calling for a better Zimbabwe falls under freedom of expression, which in turn is protected by the Zimbabwean Constitution and the African Human Rights Convention. In no consitutional democracy, anywhere in the world, would criminal charges have been brough for this. A conviction would be bizarre.

Dangarembga is a peaceful critic of Zimbabwe's autocratic and repressive system. She is one of Africa's most important intellectual voices in the world.

Zimbabwe

Tsitsi Dangarembga and Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger in front of the Anti-Corruption Court in Harare.