HRW urges Mugabe to respect rights

2013-09-04 16:11
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Harare - Human Rights Watch on Wednesday urged Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to prioritise the protection of rights, following his re-election in a disputed vote.

"President Mugabe should seize this opportunity to set Zimbabwe on a path that respects rights and the democratic process," HRW's director for southern Africa Tiseke Kasambala said in a statement.

"Placing human rights at the top of the agenda would send a clear message that Zimbabwe is committed to honouring its human rights obligations."

The global rights body has long expressed concern at Zimbabwe's poor record for human rights.

It called on Mugabe's new administration "to embrace a new, positive rights-respecting approach to governing".

On 31 July, Mugabe extended his 33-year rule after winning the general election with 61% of the vote. Morgan Tsvangirai, his former prime minister and leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, won 34%.

The controversial vote was endorsed by the regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) bloc and the African Union but rejected by Tsangirai who denounced it as a sham.

In its letter, HRW identified key areas to improve, including accountability for past abuses, media freedom, and freedom for activists as well as the right to organise meetings or protests.

The group said immediate steps must be taken in establishing a rights commission that complies with international standards.

Mugabe's long rule has been characterised by a disregard for human rights, with widespread allegations of state-sponsored violence in the run-up to the 2008 election.

HRW called on the new government to investigate and prosecute those responsible for past abuses.

Early this year, police raided the offices of several rights groups in Harare in what critics said was a ploy to instil fear ahead of a constitutional referendum in March and elections on 31 July.

Tsvangirai's party offices were also raided and staffers arrested.

Read more on:    hrw  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.