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Human Rights violations still rampant in Zimbabwe

Human Rights violations still rampant in Zimbabwe


Navi Pillay

The United Nations High Commssioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay

By Tichaona Sibanda
22 May 2012

The visiting United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay has been told incidents of torture and intimidation still persist in Zimbabwe despite government denials.

During her meeting with Justice Minister Patrick Chanamasa on Monday, Pillay was told that ‘torture chambers’ do not exist in the country as reported by Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s).

But on Tuesday, the human rights chief held a closed door meeting with over 45 CSO representatives and was told the government’s position on human rights abuses was false.

Dewa Mavhinga, a human rights lawyer and leading pro-democracy activist told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that the briefing she got from Chinamasa was just an attempt by government to distort the true picture of human rights in the country.

‘We were very clear as civil society leaders that the position by government was obviously false. We do have serious human rights challenges continuing in Zimbabwe,’ Mavhinga said.

In the past decade there have been several dossiers compiled detailing incidents of extra-judicial killings and torture of innocent people by law enforcers. This is depite Zimbabwe’s commitment to a United Nations resolution to stop such human rights violations.

‘We detailed presentations from various civil society groups focusing on what is happening, including political violence, violence against women, the non-implementation of a number of international human rights treaties that Zimbabwe has ratified.

‘We still face challenges in the deregulation of NGO’s, food distribution on a partisan line and extreme polarisation of the Zimbabwe environment, particularly the militarisation of state institutions as we draw closer to an election,’ explained Mavhinga.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights flew into the country on Sunday to begin a week-long mission. She also met with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and was due to meet with Robert Mugabe and top government officials before concluding her visit by addressing journalists on Friday.

To see several examples of Zanu PF violence click here for Google images on the subject.


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