Local and international human rights lobby groups have condemned the brutal attack on lawyer Obey Shava, who was on attacked and left for dead by unknown assailants Wednesday night.
Shava sustained serious injuries and is currently admitted at a local hospital. According to reports, the prominent lawyer was lured to Belvedere, Harare, by an unidentified man under the guise that he was seeking legal services. When Shava arrived at the agreed meeting point, four men pounced on him, leaving him for dead.
In a statement, Zimbabwe lawyers for human rights (ZLHR) condemned what they termed a “barbaric form of violence” which infringes on Shava's rights as a citizen and advocate of the law.“We believe that this savage attack on Shava is a desperate attempt to silence and deter him from doing his work as a legal practitioner. Shava has been an untiring advocate for justice and equality and has courageously stood up for the rights of oppressed persons and some marginalised communities,” ZLHR said in a statement.Shava is a member of the ZLHR and is known for representing opposition activists. His predicament comes in the same week after the acquittal of CCC opposition party leaders Joana Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri in a case the State alleged that they lied about their abduction three years ago.
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) Africa took to Twitter to express concern on violence meted on the lawyer.
“ICJ is deeply concerned about the vicious attack on Zimbabwean lawyer Obey Shava who represented Joana Mamombe and Cecilia Chimbiri after their abduction and torture,” ICJ said.
“Obey Shava has been a relentless advocate for justice and equality, fearlessly standing up for the rights of the marginalized and oppressed. This cowardly attack, which seems to be a desperate attempt to silence him and inhibit his important work, must be unreservedly condemned as an act or terrorism,” renowned cleric Kenneth Mtata also weighed in.
Meanwhile, the attack follows violent acts on another lawyer Kudzai Kadzere who was bashed by the police and sustained a broken arm after he had responded to a call to represent opposition members recently.
CCC spokesperson and lawyer Fadzayi Mahere described the incident a cowardly act done at a time Shava has been litigating on behalf of her party in the double candidates fraud cases as well as electoral appeals that have emerged in the build-up to the country’s harmonized elections on August 23.
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“No lawyer should be beaten because they represent opposition politicians. It is not a crime to litigate public interest, human rights & electoral matters. The cowardly assault on Obey Shava must shock the conscience of our society. Violence against lawyers must stop,” said Mahere.