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by the 3rd SADC CSO forum on refusal of entry into Zambia of Zimbabwean
civil society activists
3rd SADC Civil Society
August 15, 2007
We, the 3rd
SADC Civil Society Organizations Forum, meeting in Lusaka, Zambia
on the 14 to 16 August 2007, note with deep concern the recent events
concerning Zimbabwean civil society activists. On the evening of
14 August 2007, 40 Zimbabwean civil society activists were refused
entry into Zambia. No official reasons were given by the Zambian
authorities. Two passports belonging to the activists were stamped
"prohibited immigrant". The rest of the passports were
stamped with exit orders.
from Zambia, at the Zimbabwean border post of Chirundu, the activists
were detained and are currently being interrogated. Given the deteriorating
human rights situation in Zimbabwe, we fear for the safety and security
of the activists while they are in detention. We are concerned that
the refusal of entry appears arbitrary and to have been done in
bad faith due to the fact that there are no visa requirements for
Zimbabwean citizens to enter ZambiA.
is the fact that this occurred on the eve of the SADC Heads of State
Summit and consequently flies in the face of the expressed sentiments
of regional integration and cooperation amongst SADC countries.
We also believe that this is a deliberate attempt to frustrate the
right of civil society to have access and ability to engage SADC
Heads of States concerning the issue of Zimbabwe.
- The Government
of Zimbabwe to immediately release the civil society activists
currently detained at Chirundu border post.
- The Government
of Zambia to immediately permit entry into Zambia to the civil
society activists to enable them to attend the 3rd SADC CSO Forum
and People's Summit.
- The SADC
Heads of States to investigate the events and make a public statement
concerning the outcome of their investigations, in the interests
of transparency and commitment to good governance in the SADC
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