The incident in Zimbabwe is part of a larger crackdown south of the Sahara on pro-democracy activists, many of whom have been inspired by Tunisia and Egypt.
Johannesburg, South Africa
“This is just one incident among many,” says Tiseke Kasambala, senior researcher for Human Rights Watch in Johannesburg. “He’s showing that he has control of the security agencies and he is not going to tolerate dissent. We’re concerned that this is an indication that things are about to get worse in Zimbabwe, and it’s not helped by the events in the Middle East.”
The Feb. 19 arrests of the 45 activists – including professor and political leader Munyaradzi Gwisai and a number of union and student activists – is part of a larger crackdown south of the Sahara on pro-democracy activists, many of whom have taken inspiration from the courage of young men and women in Tunisia and Egypt who faced down tanks and water cannons and toppled long-ruling leaders.
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