SALC: SALC is alarmed by the passing of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Amendment Bill, also known as the “Patriotic Bill”, by the lower house of Zimbabwe’s parliament, which comes months before Zimbabwe’s elections on 23 August 2023. The suggested amendment by the Government aims to silence its citizens, civil society and political opposition in order to maintain the status quo.
The current version of the bill introduces section 22A to the Criminal Law Act, under which it criminalises “willfully injuring the sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe”. Section 22A criminalises any meeting or any communication between a Zimbabwean citizen or permanent resident that involves or is facilitated by a foreign government or any of its agents with the aim of “subverting, upsetting, overthrowing or overturning the constitutional government in Zimbabwe”.
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