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Strikes and Protests 2007- Save Zimbabwe Campaign
Civil Society statement on Zimbabwe
We, civil society
representatives from seven African nations, condemn the escalating
violence and human rights violations in Zimbabwe.
In November 2006,
we visited Zimbabwe and met with civil society representatives,
as well as individuals in government and opposition parties. We
heard stories of serious violations of human rights, including rape
and torture and the struggles of ordinary Zimbabweans to attain
a decent standard of living. Our mission stood in solidarity with
Zimbabweans, and with the courageous human rights defenders who
are challenging the system and demanding respect for and restoration
of fundamental human rights, despite ongoing intimidation and arrests.
Zimbabwe so recently, where we met with people from all walks of
life who are simply trying to live their lives in the harshest of
circumstances, we are saddened and outraged by the recent escalation
of violence. In particular, we are appalled that peaceful activists
have been assaulted, arrested and tortured for exercising their
rights to freedom of assembly and expression, and that at least
one person has been killed by police. Our condolences go to the
family of those deceased and our sympathies and best wishes to those
who have been incarcerated and assaulted.
We call for the
immediate and unconditional release of all political and civil society
activists, and for the immediate end to violence against peaceful
citizens. In addition, we remind the Zimbabwean government of its
human rights commitments and that recent actions violate the Constitution
of Zimbabwe, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Treaty
and its Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation;
the Constitutive Act of the African Union and the African Charter
of Human and Peoples' Rights.
We call on neighbouring
states, especially in the SADC region, to use all opportunities
available to them to encourage the maintenance of peace, security
and human rights, especially the freedoms of assembly, association
and expression in Zimbabwe.
We also remind
our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe that they are not alone and
that as fellow Africans we stand with them in their time of suffering
and look forward to a time when they again enjoy their hard-won
freedoms and liberties.
- Don Mattera,
Deya, Kenya / Tanzania
Forster, the Gambia
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