Run up to the March 29 Presidential and Parliamentary elections

19/03/2008
Report

A Highly Repressive Environment for Human Rights Defenders

Publication of a fact-finding mission report on the situation
of human rights defenders in the run up to the March 29 Elections

On the eve of the March 29, 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe, with Robert Mugabe in power since 28 years and seeking another term as President, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), is publishing a report entitled Zimbabwe : Run up to the March 29 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections - A Highly Repressive Environment for Human Rights Defenders.

- Full Report

PDF - 304.6 kb
Run up to the March 29 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections
A Highly Repressive Environment for Human Rights Defenders

The report compiles the information and testimonies gathered during a mission held from January 21 to 31, 2008 during which the chargés de mission met with many NGOs’ representatives as well as representatives of the judiciary and the Zimbabwe Election Commission in Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare.

The report shows the Government’s will and determination to systematically silence any kind of protest. Particularly, the Observatory reports the systematic and sustained repression of human rights defenders in Zimbabwe through a combination of measures - mainly a very repressive operating legislative framework (including the Public Order and Security Act, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, The Miscellaneous Offences Act and The Financial Regulation Act and the Price Control Act) and a selective administrative application of such repressive laws.

Particularly, in the context of the run up to the 2008 elections, the Observatory highlights an escalation in the brazen use of force and violence by State agents in Zimbabwe to silence the legitimate political opposition and its perceived supporters - mainly human rights defenders. The report documents a number of arbitrary arrests, acts of harassment and use of arbitrary detention.

Indeed, all the NGO representatives met by the chargés de mission did make testimonies of violations by security agents of the rights enshrined in the United Nations 1998 Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Zimbabwe ratified.

In the light of this report, the Observatory expresses its deep concern about the situation of human rights defenders in Zimbabwe, especially in the context of the forthcoming elections, and calls upon the authorities of Zimbabwe to guarantee in all circumstances their physical and psychological integrity and to put an end to any act of harassment against them.

- Full Report

PDF - 304.6 kb
Run up to the March 29 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections
A Highly Repressive Environment for Human Rights Defenders
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