Lawyers in Zimbabwe who have been subjected to beatings, harassment and torture at the hands of their government have come to London today (22 October) to speak out about their dire situation.

For the first time the Law Society is providing the lawyers with a platform to voice their concerns that the situation in Zimbabwe has reached crisis point, putting the rule of law under threat.

Law Society of Zimbabwe president Beatrice Mtetwa will be speaking of their plight on Wednesday (24 October) to launch a book that catalogues the persecution she and other lawyers been subjected to.

Mtetwa, along with three other lawyers, were unlawfully detained after a peaceful protest outside the Zimbabwean high court earlier this year. The four were loaded into a police truck, driven 3km and severely beaten with batons in full view of the public.

Lawyers have been subjected to state-organised harassment and intimidation, and administrative persecution through arbitrary transfers, demotions, dismissals and re-assignments.

England and Wales Law Society president Andrew Holroyd said: “Beatrice and the others all have a genuine reason to apply for asylum, but instead they choose not to as they feel the rule of law is tantamount and needed if their clients [the people of Zimbabwe] are to be protected.”