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Tsvangirai refused to receive treatment unless his supporters are allowed too

A badly beaten Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai refused to receive treatment unless his supporters who had also been assaulted by the police were allowed to receive treatment as well.

Tsvangirai was in court with 50 of his supporters but they were not charged. Instead, their lawyers pleaded with the state to allow their clients to receive medical treatment.

Tsvangirai had a large cut on his head and a swollen eye while national Constitutional Assembly chairman Lovemore Madhuku’s arm was in a cast and head in a bandage.

Only four individuals, including Tsvangirai, were initially allowed to receive treatment but Tsvangirai refused to go unless all in need of treatment were permitted to go.

 

 

Full cable:

Viewing cable 07HARARE198, TSVANGRIRAI AND MISTREATED OPPOSITION DETAINEES

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

07HARARE198

2007-03-13 16:37

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO4120

RR RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0198/01 0721637

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

R 131637Z MAR 07

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1227

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 1507

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 1365

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1511

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0187

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0773

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 1137

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1566

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 3966

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1334

RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1990

RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1728

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000198

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR S. HILL

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR B. PITTMAN

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

ADDIS ABABA FOR ACSS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/13/2017

TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: TSVANGRIRAI AND MISTREATED OPPOSITION DETAINEES

APPEAR IN COURT

 

REF: REFTEL: HARARE 000195

 

Classified By: Ambassador Christopher W. Dell under Section 1.4 b/d

 

——-

Summary

——-

 

1. (C) A badly beaten MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai and

fifty members of his party, including senior leaders from

both factions, finally appeared in court March 13. No

charges were filed with the court appearance turning on

access to medical treatment. The Ambassador and other

diplomats observed police and prosecutors disobey lawful

court orders and attempt to obstruct treatment. All of the

detainees were eventually taken to a hospital. What happens

next is unclear. Opposition lawyers tell us since charges

were not filed, the police have no legal basis to hold their

clients and they are working to secure their freedom.

However, the police continue to act with impunity, shooting

two unarmed mourners at the home of slain opposition activist

Gift Tandare, and may not obey a court order for the release

of Tsvangirai and the other detainees. End Summary.

 

——————————————— –

Courtroom Drama Unfolds As Medical Aid Delayed

——————————————— –

 

2. (SBU) A High Court judge last night ruled that the fifty

opposition members arrested on March 11 were to be provided

access to attorneys and medical care by noon today. In a

sign of things to come the police and prosecutors only obeyed

several hours after the fact. No charges were filed at the

hearing, which instead centered on access for the detainees

to medical care. The Ambassador, along with the Ambassadors

from the UK, Australia, Spain, and Sweden, as well as

representatives from other Western Embassies witnessed

opposition lawyers pleading with court officials to allow

their clients — many severely injured — access to medical

care. A weakened Morgan Tsvangirai had a large cut on his

head and a swollen eye, and NCA chairman Lovemore Mhaduku’s

arm was in a cast and head in a bandage. The Ambassador also

saw one opposition youth spread out on the floor,

semi-conscious and obviously in need of urgent attention.

 

3. (SBU) Initially, the attorney general’s representative

agreed that four individuals, specifically named on the High

Court Judge’s order of the previous evening, could be taken

to the hospital. Tsvangirai, one of the four, refused to go

unless all in need of treatment were permitted to go. After

negotiations with defense attorneys and consultations with

her supervisors, the attorney general’s representative

relented. However, the police officer-in-charge initially

refused to obey the decision, further delaying medical

treatment for several hours more. Eventually, the police

officer relented as well and all were taken by ambulance and

in police custody to Avenues Hospital in Harare. The youth

activist on the floor appeared to be declining quickly and

the attorney general’s representative also relented in his

transfer to the hospital after observing his condition with

evident shock and worry, despite the fact that his name was

on no list of detainees.

 

—————-

No Charges Filed

—————-

 

4. (SBU) Zimbabwean law requires charges to be brought

 

HARARE 00000198 002 OF 002

 

 

within 48 hours. As noted above, no charges were brought

against the detainees during today,s hearing. The lawyers

for Tsvangirai and the other MDC leaders told us they would

demand their clients be released after medical treatment.

 

——————

Anger Boiling Over

——————

 

5. (C) As Tsvangirai and others were led from court several

hundred onlookers sang the MDC’s party song. After the

ambulance departed some in the crowd started singing and

toy-toying, most fled when the riot police chased them. The

Ambassador observed the police pull several women out of

parked vehicle, and put into police trucks and taken into

custody.

 

6. (C) Separately, police shot and seriously injured two

mourners at the home of Gift Tandare, the MDC youth slain by

police on Sunday. Anti-Senate MDC advisor Jameson Timba told

poloff that Tandare’s family had given the MDC permission to

hold the a wake on March 16 at the opposition’s headquarters

in downtown Harare and to conduct a funerary march to be lead

by Tsvangirai, assuming he has been released, the day after.

 

7. (SBU) Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Lawyer Otto Saki

also informed us that opposition activists protested in Gweru

earlier today in solidarity of those detained in Harare.

This follows on the heals of the MDC protest in Mutate

yesterday in which some 75-100 were detained by police.

 

——-

Comment

——-

 

8. (C) Tsvangirai’s dramatic court appearance today

confirmed the reports that he was badly mistreated while in

police custody. He and many of the other MDC members showed

visible signs of abuse, but contrary to earlier reports

Tsvangirai appeared alert, engaged, and the clear leader of

 

SIPDIS

the detainees. However, the detainees were in high spirits

and seemed unbowed by their ordeal. The MDC as a whole seems

similarly energized by the events of the past two weeks. In

a hopeful sign that the party’s split may be healing,

Tsvangirai and rival faction leader Mutambara sat together in

 

SIPDIS

the court room and chatted often. It would be ironic if it

were the government and its brutal tactics that healed the

rift within the MDC. The government’s tactics may also cause

the very upsurge in opposition activity they are designed to

suppress. In that regard, the next few weeks, and in

particular the funeral procession for Tandare, are likely to

be extremely telling.

DELL

(5 VIEWS)

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