UN monitors slam Zimbabwe human rights

2013-02-27 21:43

Harare - UN monitors on Wednesday urged Zimbabwe to live up to international human rights standards, voicing concerns over violations ahead of next month's constitutional referendum and elections expected in July.

The trio of monitors, who oversee countries' respect for freedom of assembly and expression and the treatment of human rights campaigners, said in a statement that they wanted to raise the alarm amid increasing reports of intimidation and harassment, physical violence and arrests.

Zimbabwe votes next month on a new constitution drafted by the uneasy unity government of veteran President Robert Mugabe and his arch-rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

The bitter rivals were forced to form a government to avoid Zimbabwe tipping into all-out conflict following a bloody presidential run-off election in 2008.

Past elections have been marred by killings, assault and intimidation, with Tsvangirai's supporters being most of the victims of the 2008 violence, and members of his Movement for Democratic Change have again faced attacks in recent weeks.

"In the context of proposed constitutional reforms and the elections, it is disturbing and shocking to learn that civil society organisations that have been operating for years, including election monitoring groups which aim to promote free and fair elections, have been searched by police," Maina Kiai, the UN's monitor on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, said in the trio's statement.

Margaret Sekaggya, the world body's monitor on the treatment of human rights campaigners, also sounded the alarm.

"Attempts to stifle criticism must end," she said.

Zimbabwean authorities claim Western nations with a political agenda are behind the campaign groups that have faced a crackdown.

The UN monitors also voiced their concern at police use of force against, and arrests of, peaceful protesters taking part, and handing out roses and teddy bears, at a Valentine’s Day protest outside Zimbabwe's parliament on 14 February.

Freedom of expression monitor Frank La Rue said Zimbabwe must ensure that "everyone is guaranteed the right to speak freely without fear of persecution, arrest and intimidation".

  • hein.huyser - 2013-02-27 21:57

    Mad Bob feels nothing for and nobody's oppinion or requests to stop human rights abuses. He must stay in power to avoid jail. He and the army chiefs knows it well. The families of the 20 000 Matabeles killed by him are waiting as well. The time is now for the international community to step up their personal sanctions against him and his henchmen (and Grace).

  • Swapie - 2013-02-27 22:07

    Wow Bob!!! Time for a new suit!!! The fat of the land is ending up around your waist.

  • derrick.chong.39 - 2013-02-27 22:12

    What a moron. This is a Syria in the making !

  • richard.hewett.10 - 2013-02-27 22:15

    As soon as this imbisile got financed for the election his peacefull act was over.

  • Lawrence Comenice Vhukeya - 2013-02-27 23:54

    United nations is toothless can't bite too much yarayara' , America is da solution to zim problem.

      herman.letlalo - 2013-02-28 02:02

      zimbabwe has no oil, otherwise mugabe would have been executed long ago, so america is not about to come to the rescue

  • precious.yumyum - 2013-02-28 02:36

    Have they been doing the same in China?

  • David Dube - 2013-02-28 04:46

    Who Should die 4 UN 2 take steps.Or is it dat Zim has no oil.

  • Michael Kleber - 2013-02-28 06:05

    This man is africas hitler , in looks and the way he thinks

  • David Mbongo - 2013-02-28 06:24

    Mugabe isn't a fool like S.A. HE WIl neva surender Zim. I LOVE BOB.mandela sold us.lets make comision of inq.dai man het öns verkoop.

      Ian Levinson - 2013-02-28 06:44

      Sold you how, by not committing mass theft and murder, just look at what zim has become or are you completely blind, if you love bob so much why don't you go live under his rule, go on, starvation and unemployment is waiting for you, fool

      henrijames.christie - 2013-02-28 07:06

      Hope you live in Zim and not shouting your dumb comments from the "safety" of SA

      David Broadfoot - 2013-02-28 07:07

      Yes. Go take a sexual departure back to Zim.

      Simphiwe Charlie - 2013-02-28 10:18

      I'm with you all the way David, the other clowns here no nothing.

  • dewet.duplessis.90 - 2013-02-28 06:49

    And then Bob and his mates asks for all sanctions to be dropped? If you want money and help from the rest of the World, it is important to know that you are there because you were elected by the people, for the people. Not by yourself for yourself.

  • zakhelezakes.shabangu - 2013-02-28 06:59

    Kill robert for that's when zimbabwe shall see freedom

  • lawrence.michau - 2013-02-28 07:05

    Well he can't live forever. .he will pay for all he has done...kill the bastard

  • Spats Domingo - 2013-03-04 10:17

    And what? may I ask, has the UN done about mad bob and his human rights violations????

  • Spats Domingo - 2013-03-04 10:21

    The UN is nothing but a collective of gutless buffoons who pussyfoot around dictators all around the world without taking action.

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