Zimbabwe

Missing Zim activist bothers ZHRC

2015-07-01 20:01
Itai Dzamara. (Facebook)

Itai Dzamara. (Facebook)

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Harare - Zimbabwe's human rights commission said Wednesday that the abduction of a rights activist who was a staunch critic of the government had damaged the country's international image.

Itai Dzamara was seized by unknown men in March, days after he addressed a rally of opponents of President Robert Mugabe, who has often been accused of rights abuses.

Dzamara's disappearance triggered statements from the United States, European Union and others calling for him to be found and for his abduction to be investigated.

"I have received petitions from the international community which now run into thousands," Elasto Mugwadi, the head of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC), told a parliamentary committee.

Mugwadi urged police to "escalate investigations" into finding Dzamara, who was kidnapped by five armed men while coming out of a hair salon.

"The disappearance of a person with no explanation being given in a highly securitised country like our own [does] not please the international community," he added.

The ZHRC is a government-appointed body set up in 2012, but has little power.

Last year Dzamara staged sit-in protests in Harare's main square demanding the resignation of Mugabe.

Mugabe, 91, has ruled the troubled southern African nation since Zimbabwe overthrew white minority rule in 1980.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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