World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Zimbabwe: Leaders Must Condemn Human Rights Abuse

News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International

AI Index: AFR 46/022/2004
12 August 2004

Zimbabwe: Southern African leaders must condemn human rights abuse

Amnesty International (AI) members in the southern African region have written to their leaders calling on them to publicly and jointly condemn the Government of Zimbabwe for its violation of human rights.

Letters have been sent to Heads of State and Government attending the summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Mauritius on 16 August.

"The SADC treaty obliges member states to act in accordance with principles of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, so the leaders of southern Africa have a special responsibility to respond to the human rights crisis in Zimbabwe. Although Zimbabwe has been discussed at SADC summits for the last three years, there has been no improvement in the human rights situation," the AI members said.

The letters denounce a series of grave human rights abuses in Zimbabwe including:

- Repressive laws that are used to criminalize peaceful gatherings, as well as shut down independent media outlets and non-governmental organizations;

- Government moves to end international food aid distribution, despite independent warnings that millions of Zimbabweans will need food aid in the coming year;

- Systematic Government attacks on the independence of judges and lawyers;

- Failure to investigate widespread allegations of torture and ill-treatment, including rape, committed by security forces and "youth" militia.

"Evidence suggests that an escalation in repression in Zimbabwe is already underway ahead of parliamentary elections. We are urging SADC leaders to use this summit to demonstrate their commitment to protect human rights and to hold governments accountable in the SADC region," the AI members said.

Zimbabwe in the AI Report 2004:


You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and this footer remain intact.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


North Korea: NZ Denounces Missile Test

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has denounced North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test. The test, which took place this morning, is North Korea’s third test flight of an inter-continental ballistic missile. More>>


Gordon Campbell: Zimbabwe - Meet The New Bosses

At 75, Mnangagwa is not exactly what you’d call a new broom. As many observers have pointed out, his track record has been one of unswerving dedication to Mugabe ever since the days of anti-colonial insurgency... To these guys, things had to change in Zimbabwe, so that things could remain the same. More>>