Chris Holden

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Thor Halvorssen on Evan Mawarire’s Release

by Chris Holden - March 4th, 2017.
Filed under: Activist, Human Rights.

Thor Halvorssen is the founder of the Human Rights Foundation. After his father was imprisoned by the Venezuelan government because he uncovered corruption there, his mother was shot during a protest over his father’s arrest. Therefore, it only seems natural for Thor to be an outspoken supporter of human rights around the globe.

One of the people that Thor is proud to support is pastor Evan Mawarire of Zimbabwe.

This pastor first rose to prominence in his country when he took to social media calling for changes in human rights under the rule of President Robert Mugabe. His #ThisFlag movement led to a work stoppage in the country.

Evan had left the country in July with his pregnant wife and two daughters. His youngest daughter was born in November. In early February, Evan returned to Zimbabwe where he was arrested. Many feel that the reason that Evan has become so outspoken is that he fears that his daughters will be unable to get a good education under the present system.

On February 8, 2017, a judge released him on a $300 bond saying he posed no risk of fleeing the country. Since he was released, Evan has become an outspoken critic of conditions within the prison. He says that it really upset him that his appearance in court had to be once delayed because there was no fuel to get the prison vehicle there. He describes the lack of privacy in using the commode as being a problem. Evan also says that the lack of hot water is a sanitation issue.

After being released, Evan says that the whole country is like being in prison. He says that people living in the country are not free as the government makes everyone answerable to it.

Thor is still hopeful that the pastor who may be toying with the idea of running for president will be able to speak at his Oslo Freedom Forum in May. This three-day event is attended by human rights advocates and journalists from around the world. Before his arrest, Evan was to be one of the keynote speakers at this conference. for more.

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