News24

Amnesty calls on Zimbabwe to halt abuses

2012-01-27 11:52

Harare - Amnesty International on Friday called on Zimbabwean authorities to refrain from manipulating the country's laws to harass human rights activists and opponents of veteran President Robert Mugabe.

"The continuation of human rights violations against critics of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party cast doubt on whether the country will be able to hold an election free from violence and human rights abuses similar to the 2008 second round of the presidential election," the group said in a statement.

Amnesty urged Mugabe to "rein in elements in the security forces who seek to undermine the [government of national unity] by ordering arbitrary arrests and unlawful detention of his perceived opponents".

Mugabe formed a power sharing government with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in 2009 to avoid a tip into full-fledged conflict in the aftermath of a presidential run-off which Tsvangirai boycotted in protest at deadly attacks on his supporters.

Despite the unity government, rights activists are frequently arrested or harassed in the course of their work.

"The government should unconditionally drop all the charges against people arrested solely for their work as human rights defenders or for their association with political parties of their choice," Amnesty said.

The statement came after a court placed three activists from local media advocacy group Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe on remand on charges of undermining or insulting Mugabe.

In another case this week, a court acquitted Joel Hita of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association who had been charged under a security law for a holding a photo exhibit on the 2008 polls.

Activists Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu of Women of Zimbabwe Arise face charges of kidnapping a witness to a September protest that was violently dispersed by police.

Two booksellers were detained last weekend for selling copies of Tsvangirai's biography.

Comments
  • Terry - 2012-01-27 12:07

    all I have to say is that Hitler's twin will never stop till some very clever person eliminates him.

  • Gideon - 2012-01-27 12:25

    Wow Amnesty, good for you! I am sure the completely legitimate Zimbabwean government will take your concerns to heart, have an open debate regarding the issue, and then issue a press statement giving you the middle finger. Or not. Will probably go ignored since Bob doesn't read the papers, and because he just couldn't care less obviously. Does anyone care about Amnesty International?

      Gideon - 2012-01-27 12:26

      Oh, and the reason for my hostility? I'm so tired of talk, because it is soooo cheap and doesn't ever get anything done.

      Wilbert - 2012-01-27 19:01

      What else can AI do other than high light the abuses and campaign for them to end. What I cannot accept, and I am not the only one here, is why this MDC controlled parliament has been so totally useless at stopping this madness. Hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans were beaten and/or rapped and over 500 lost their very lives to give MDC its parliamentary majority because they believed in a parliamentary democracy to end this dictatorship. They were wrong; this MDC parliament has been more subservient to Mugabe than all the other Zanu PF controlled parliaments!

  • Anthony - 2012-01-27 12:26

    Mugabe is a WAR CRIMINAL, who should join saif gaddafi in his cage !!

  • Arthur - 2012-01-27 13:50

    Does anybody believe this thug, this low-life, this thief, this murderer Mugabe will pay any attention at all to anybody who suggests a smidgeon of decency? Trust the reasons for which he trots off to a Thai hospital every so often is nothing trivial. And hopefully its in the genes...

  • Lambert - 2012-01-27 14:17

    MUGABE IS AFRICAN SON UNCONTESTED,THEREFORE HE HAS RIGHT TO CHALLENGE THE PEOPLE WHO PLAYS WITH HIS LAW FULL OF AUTHORITY.

      Henri James Christie - 2012-01-28 08:39

      How did you get both your brain cells to synchronise so that you could post your message??

  • Lambert - 2012-01-27 14:40

    Mr coetzee that,s good advice but before i can go back ,ask your ancestors where you come from ,.Your ancestors came here in 1652 because they were suffering in those snowy place,so now you want to challenge the aboriginal spieces of African continent.Africa is mine and i will settle wherever i want to. The dog barks ,the caravan passes.

      Anthony - 2012-01-27 14:57

      @Lambert, " Africa is mine " !!!!!!! You have been listening to much to that crazy guy gaddafi !!! And No, you won't settle where ever you want to. Most African countries would refuse you entry !!

      peterjohnjnb - 2012-01-29 16:44

      you're an idiot

      Blip - 2012-01-29 23:55

      Ask your ancestors? Well, they're all dead.

  • Jackie - 2012-01-27 16:05

    He seems unstoppable!! A horrifying mix of Hitler & Idi Amin. The whole world has stood by for years & let this happen! Why?......Zim doesnt have oil!! If only something could happen to fix this. Sadly even if Bob dies - which I hope he does & in a lot of pain & over a length of time - the rot will still be there!

      Wilbert - 2012-01-27 19:45

      Zimbabwe had its best chance to end Mugabe's reign of terror after the 2008 elections sadly we had the most incompetent political party led by the most indecisive character in the country's political history! Tsvangirai allowed Mugabe back into State House through the back door and has since been at the dictator's beckon and call. Parliamentary democracy works as but like anything else even the best designed system will never achieve its intended objects in the hands of half-hearted or worse human operators.

  • Chaapo - 2012-01-27 20:39

    The impunity continues and will continue especially with ZANU PF pushing for an election but people want to hear no evil and see no evil. However, the truth will out, the latest being the discovery of mass graves at a former training ground for the ZANU militia (masquerading as a so-called youth training academy). This is what the Mbekis and Zumas do not want the world to know and obviously what Malema and supporters of his ilk admire.

  • Henri James Christie - 2012-01-28 08:37

    "...cast doubt whether the country could hold free and fair elections....." have Amnesty Int been taking note of Zim or have they recently discovered this country?? It has been proven over and over again it can't happen. What more proof do they want???

  • Henri James Christie - 2012-01-28 08:40

    Directed at lambert

  • Frank - 2012-01-30 12:50

    Who?

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