Zim: EU, US call for return of abducted activist

2015-03-12 12:11

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Harare - The European Union and United States missions in Zimbabwe on Wednesday voiced concern over the abduction of an opposition activist as police broke up a march calling for his release.

Pro-democracy activist Itai Dzamara was abducted on Monday in the capital Harare by unidentified men, raising fears about his safety.

"The US Embassy notes with grave concern the reports of the forced disappearance of civil society activist Itai Dzamara on March 9, 2015," said a statement that also called on the authorities to fully investigate Dzamara's abduction.

The mission said that if he was in state custody "it is vital that his fundamental human rights and freedoms as guaranteed by Zimbabwe's constitution be honoured".

The EU urged the government to "take all necessary measures to ascertain Mr Dzamara's whereabouts" calling for a probe into the disappearance.

Sit-in protests

Police on Wednesday could not comment on the case.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) that raised the alarm over the abduction blamed President Robert Mugabe's government.

It's leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who was once part of a power-sharing government with Mugabe, said his party feared "the worst" as previous activists who were reported kidnapped were later found dead.

A former journalist, Dzamara last year staged sit-in protests in Harare's main public square demanding the resignation of long ruling Mugabe, whom he accused of destroying Zimbabwe.

The veteran leader, who turned 91 last month, has ruled since the country overthrew white minority rule in 1980.

Meanwhile, a group of up MDC supporters who marched in the capital Harare to petition parliament over the disappearance said they were beaten up.

"Armed police today assaulted hundreds of MDC youths who marched and petitioned parliament for the immediate release of Itai Dzamara," the party said.

Read more on:    mdc  |  eu  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  itai dzamara  |  us  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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