52 Zimbabwean socialists have been tried with treason and “subverting a constitutionally elected government”, and could now face the death penalty, following arrests after a meeting organised in solidarity with the Egyptian revolution.
The activists are members of the International Socialist Organisation, a group linked to the British SWP but which cooperates with other tendencies. Mike Sambo, a leading ISO member, spoke at Workers’ Liberty’s Ideas for Freedom event in 2008.
The despotic regime of Robert Mugabe is undertaking a general clampdown on dissent in advance of possible elections later in 2011 and clearly fears a Middle Eastern-style upheaval in Zimbabwe.
Other left-wing and labour movement bodies in the region, including the powerful Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) have spoken out against the arrests. For information on where to send statements of protest and solidarity, see tinyurl.com/zimbabweiso