UE pays particular attention to the situation of human rights defenders in Zimbabwe electoral cycle

Last December, FIDH organised a round of advocacy with its Vice-President Arnold Tsunga, representative of FIDH’s member organisation ZimRights , to convey to the European Union its concerns around the ongoing risks for human rights defenders in the context of political deadlock and pre-electoral period (see “Zimbabwe: Ongoing risks for human rights defenders in the context of political deadlock and pre-electoral period”, report of the Observatory for the protection of human rights defenders – a joint FIDH-OMCT programme, published in November 2012).

FIDH’s objective was to gear up the EU’s attention to ensure early warning and appropriate reaction in case of human rights violations taking place in the electoral cycle staring with the upcoming referendum on the new Constitution before the holding of Presidential elections in the Summer. FIDH’s advocacy was reflected in the European Parliament’s prompt reaction to the arrest of Okay Machisa, National Executive Director of ZimRights, and two other ZimRights members (Leo Chamahwinya, Dorcas Shereni) through an urgent resolution adopted on 7 February, which also relays the Observatory report recommendations. In addition, the EU Delegation and Heads of Missions in Harare issued a Statement on 22 February to indicate the EU’s particular concern around the pattern of incidents of harassment against civil society organisations and to call on the authorities to demonstrate impartiality in their relation to civil society.

Read more
impact