Jestina Mukoko

Zimbabwean human rights activist

Jestina Mukoko is a Zimbabwean human rights activist, former television journalist, and survivor of enforced disappearance and torture. In December 2008, she was abducted by security agents, beaten, tortured, and held in solitary confinement for weeks on trumped-up charges of plotting to overthrow Robert Mugabe’s regime. In September 2009, Zimbabwe’s High Court judge dismissed the charges on the grounds of violations of her fundamental rights. She sued the state in court, demanding $220,000 in compensation for her abduction, and in September 2018, the high court ordered the state to pay her $150,000 in civil damages. In 2010, she was among 10 human rights defenders honored with the US State Department’s International Women of Courage Award for her exceptional leadership in advancing women’s rights. She was the long-time director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), a NGO that monitors and documents human rights abuses. She is the author of the book “The Abduction and Trial of Jestina Mukoko; the Fight for Human Rights in Zimbabwe.”

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