Sixty-one Zimbabwean women were arrested in the capital for protesting a bill that will ban international human rights groups and will cut off funding for local organizations promoting human rights and democracy. The women represented the organization Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) and marched nearly 280 miles to the capital to protest the bill.
A WOZA spokesperson asserts that the bill strikes “at the lives and very survival of women and their families who are beneficiaries of donor food and have HIV/AIDS orphans to care for,” reports IRIN News. A Zimbabwean police spokesperson said that the women faced charges under security laws which require protestors to have police clearance before holding political gatherings. The penalty for these charges is up to six months in jail.
According to Voice of America, approximately 300 WOZA members have been arrested for demonstrating since the organization was formed two years ago.