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condemns torture, violence and brutal attacks
Association of Non-Governmental Organisations in Zimbabwe (NANGO)
March 22, 2007
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The National Association of Non Governmental
Organizations (NANGO) representing over 1000 Non Governmental Organizations
operating in Zimbabwe unequivocally condemns the recent spate of
human rights violations in events surrounding the Save Zimbabwe
Prayer Rally. In particular, NANGO notes with concern the excessive
use of force on unarmed civilians, the harassment, torture and brutal
attacks on civil society and opposition leaders and their subsequent.
NANGO reiterates that the state should
be the principle guarantor and custodian of human rights with an
obligation to respect and enforce people’s rights.
NANGO acknowledges that the recent
incidences have occurred against the backdrop of a politically,
socially and economically volatile situation characterized by high
levels of poverty and inequality, militarisation of state functions,
de-legitimisation of civil society initiatives, disenfranchisement
of the electorate, economic recession and reduced capacities for
social service delivery. The volatility of the Zimbabwean political
economy is clearly a breeding ground for civil unrest.
Given the prevailing environment, the
civil society sector then finds it difficul to participate in the
formation of the National Human Rights Commission. NANGO therefore
reaffirms that the respect of human rights is the first step that
should form the basis of establishing the National Human Rights
Commission in Zimbabwe.
NANGO thus urges the Government of
Zimbabwe to tangibly display the political will to address the longstanding
issues that militate against the protection and promotion of human
rights. These issues include wholesale constitutional reform, lifting
the ban on political rallies and gatherings, repeal of repressive
pieces of legislation, safeguarding the independence of the judiciary
and the elimination of impunity.
NANGO strongly calls upon the government
of Zimbabwe to revert to its commitments to uphold international
human rights norms and practices. In particular, NANGO calls upon
the Government of Zimbabwe:
- To ensure that the rule of law prevails
and that citizens are legally protected from arbitrary and capricious
by various state parties
- To remove the legislative and other
impediments to the enjoyment of the freedom of association, assembly
and expression of opinion
- To make the government officials
responsible for the human rights abuses accountable to citizens
for their actions through a fair and transparent process.
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