One of the 45 socialists arrested by the Zimbabwe government this February for watching a video about the Arab Spring died late on Thursday evening.
David Mpatsi’s health never recovered after he was held in solitary confinement during February and March. The 45 were originally charged with treason, which carries the death penalty. Following an international campaign most were released without charge, though six are due in court tomorrow (Monday) to face charges of “subverting a constitutional government”—which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.
In February the International Socialist Organisation (ISO) Zimbabwe organised a meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, which showed news footage of the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.
The meeting was raided and participants were held in Harare Central Prison for more than two weeks.
David Mpatsi, who had joined the ISO at the beginning of 2010, was one of 17 people held in solitary confinement. Last week he succumbed to a lung infection after his health deteriorated following his imprisonment.
The ISO stated, “The best way to honour comrades like Mpatsi and many others who have languished is to go for an all out mobilisation against dictatorship and the underlying inhuman system of capitalism that it serves. How many more will have to die? Indeed we are inspired by the rising masses of Egypt and Tunisia who have stood up to capitalism.”
Hundreds of socialists attended David’s funeral on Saturday. He leaves a wife and three children who are in need and if there is anyone wishing to offer assistance, please feel free to contact the ISO(Z).
For more details go to www.isozim.blogspot.com or on Facebook “Socialist Zimbabwe”
To help those still on trial donate to the solidarity fund.
Account Name: CDL–MINE–LINE Worker Solidarity Fund.
Deposit reference: Zimbabwe Treason Trialists Solidarity Fund.
Bank: NEDBANK, Killarney Branch, PO Box 87157, Houghton, 2041, South Africa.
Branch code: 191 60535
Current account number: 100 185 3784.
SWIFT code: NEDSZAJJ.
Please email details of what you have deposited to firstname.lastname@example.org