Last month three UN independent human rights experts urged [JURIST report] the government of Zimbabwe to respect international human rights in anticipation of the referendum and potential changes to the system of government. The UN's emphasis on the protection of individuals' right to privacy and freedom of association accompanied Human Rights Watch's [advocacy website] call for "credible, free and fair elections," a proposition that the advocacy group claims Zimbabwe failed to ensure [JURIST report] in previous elections. Experts point to incidents such as the March 17 arrest [Bloomberg report] of four Tsvangirai aides, working for the prime minister's political party the Movement for Democratic Change [official website]. Held on charges of breaching state secrecy law, the arrests follow a string of allegations against political associates, including human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa who is being charged with obstructing or defeating the course of justice [JURIST report].
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