Saturday, March 27, 2010

ACTION ALERT: Stand up for Owen Maseko; support an artist’s right to free expression

Owen Maseko the world famous Zimbabwean artist has been arrested. His crime? He dared to be bold. Maseko opened his exhibition last night at the Bulawayo National Art Gallery, an artist’s impression of the harsh reality of Gukurahundi as well as the decades of oppression and violence that have characterised Zimbabwe. In a combination of graffiti, 3D installations and his painting Maseko unflinchingly dared to tell the truth, adding his usual and whimsical element of humour. Visit his website here.

Voti Thebe, the person in charge of the Bulawayo National Arts Gallery, was also arrested.
Stand up for the freedom of expression in Zimbabwe and help free Maseko. He is being held at Bulawayo Central Police Station, charges have not been made, but they are refusing to release him. Because he has been arrested on a Friday, Maseko is likely to spend the whole weekend in one of Zimbabwe’s filthy cells.


Please call the police and ask that Owen Maseko and Voti Thebe are released immediately. Point out to them that both the current constitution, and the Kariba Draft, protect an individuals right to free expression. Remind them that their role is to follow the rule of the law; ask them what grounds they have for arresting Maseko and Thebi.
Please be calm and polite when talking to the police. Ask the person you are speaking to to carry a message to Maseko – ask him/her to tell him the world is watching and standing by them.
Please join our Facebook group. We will be uploading images of some of the artwork that the police and Mugabe do not want the world to see to both Facebook and Flickr. Please share these images widely with everyone you know. Please ask them to support Maseko’s freedom, just as he supports ours.
These are the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP)  telephone numbers to call in Bulawayo.
Charge office
+263 (9) 72515
Central charge office hotlines:
+263 (9) 72525
+263 (9) 66306
+263 (9) 66340
ZRP press and public relations:
+263 (9) 60358

Maseko's painting depicts Robert Mugabe grabbing votes from the people of Zimbabwe

They Made us Sing

Nkomo signs accord

Ndebele votes flushed


Post a Comment