288/04 Gabriel Shumba v Zimbabwe Gabriel Shumba v Republic of Zimbabwe 288/2004 Summary of Facts 1. The Complainant Gabriel Shumba and his counsel David Padilla submit this communication against the Republic of Zimbabwe, which is a State Party to the African Charter. The Complainant is a citizen of the Republic of Zimbabwe and is a human rights lawyer currently undertaking a Doctor of Laws Degree at the Centre for Human Rights University of Pretoria, South Africa. 2. The Complainant and his Counsel present the facts of the case as follows: On 14th January 2003, the Complainant in the presence of 3 others, namely Bishop Shumba, TauraiMagayi and Charles Mutama was taking instructions from one of his clients a Mr. John Sikhala in a matter involving alleged political harassment by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP). Mr. John Sikhala is a Member of Parliament for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which is the opposition party in Zimbabwe. 3. At about 11:00 p.m. riot police accompanied by plain-clothes policemen and personnel identified to be from the Central Intelligence Organization stormed the room and arrested everyone present. 4. During the arrest, the Complainant's law practicing certificate, diary, files, documents and cell phone were confiscated and he was slapped and kicked several times by, among others, the Officer in Charge of Saint Mary's Police Station. 5. The Complainant and the others were taken to Saint Mary's Police Station where he was detained without charge and denied access to legal representation. He was also denied food and water. 6. The Complainant claims that on the next day following his arrest, he was removed from the cell, a hood was placed over his head and he was driven to an unknown location where he was led down what seemed like a tunnel to a room underground. The hood was removed, he was stripped naked and his hands and feet were bound in a foetal position and a plank was thrust between his legs and arms. 7. While in this position, the Complainant was questioned and threatened with death by about 15 interrogators. The Complainant further alleges that he was also electrocuted intermittently for 8 hours and a chemical substance was applied to his body. He lost control of his bodily functions, vomited blood and he was forced to drink his vomit. 8. The Complainant has submitted a certified copy of the medical report describing the injuries found on his body. 9. Following his interrogation at around 7pm of the same day, the Complainant was unbound and forced to write several statements implicating himself and several senior MDC members in subversive activities. At around 7.30pm he was taken to Harare Police Station and booked into a cell. 10. The Complainant states that on the third day of his arrest, his lawyers who had obtained a High Court injunction ordering his release to court were allowed to access him. The Complainant was subsequently charged under section 5 of the Public Order and Security Act that relates to organising, planning or conspiring to overthrow the government through unconstitutional means. He fled Zimbabwe to South Africa for fear of his life. Complaint 11. The Complainant alleges that Articles 4, 5, 6, 7(c) and (d), 10(1) and 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights have been violated. Procedure 12. The communication was received by the Secretariat of the African Commission on 24th May 2004. 13. On 16th June 2004, the Secretariat acknowledged receipt of the communication and informed the Complainant that the matter had been scheduled for consideration by the African Commission at its 36th Ordinary Session. 14. During its 36th Ordinary Session held in Dakar Senegal from 22 November to 7 December 2004 the African Commission decided to be seized of the communication. 1

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