Human rights ambassador praises courage of Zimbabwean human rights lawyer

This is a man who, despite many years of persecution, continues to fight tirelessly for freedom and justice,’ the Dutch human rights ambassador, Lionel Veer, said today in Amsterdam at the presentation of the Lawyers for Lawyers Award to the Zimbabwean human rights lawyer Alec Muchadehama.

Alec Muchadehama defends activists, opposition leaders and other people in civil society. He is constantly under threat from the government. He has already been arrested and prosecuted on a number of occasions, and after eluding a kidnap attempt he had to go into hiding for a time.

The Lawyers for Lawyers Award was established by the Dutch Lawyers for Lawyers Foundation (L4L). L4L has committed itself to enabling lawyers to practice in freedom and independence. The jury chose Alec Muchadehama for showing ‘extraordinary courage in a country controlled by violence and arbitrary rule, at great risk to his own life’. In addition to a special memento, Mr Muchadehama received the sum of €10,000.

Mr Veer said the award reflected the priority accorded by the Dutch government to human rights defenders in its human rights policy.