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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • Marange, Chiadzwa and other diamond fields and the Kimberley Process - Index of articles

  • Call for the immediate release of Farai Maguwu
    Southern African Resource Watch (SARW)

    June 07, 2010

    The Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) condemns the arrest and persecution of Human rights and economic justice activists in Zimbabwe.

    SARW calls on the government of Zimbabwe to immediately release human rights defender, Farai Maguwu and refrain from any further arrests.

    Farai Maguwu, director of the Mutare-based Centre for Research and Development (CRD) is a prominent economic justice activist fighting to protect the rights of people of Marange whose rights are being violated through illegal extraction and trade in diamonds. His arrest followed the meeting he held on 25 May2010 with Kimberley Process Monitor for Zimbabwe, Abbey Chikane, to discuss human rights abuses and the rampant smuggling of Marange diamonds.

    While we appreciate efforts by all parties to make the Global Political Agreement work, it will be appropriate for the Zimbabwe government to show its seriousness about transformation by releasing Mr. Maguwu. The detention of Maguwu since the 3 June is contrary to the spirit of a new democratic Zimbabwe that we all want to build.

    The illegal trade of diamonds in Marange is accompanied by serious human rights violations. The unregulated diamond trade is a threat to the economic interests of Zimbabwe, and in turn to the wellbeing of the people of Zimbabwe.

    The work being done by Mr. Maguwu and others is therefore important in ensuring that there is transparency and accountability in the extraction and commercialization of minerals in Zimbabwe.

    A better-coordinated diamond industry will contribute immensely to a quick recovery of the Zimbabwean economy. Mr. Maguwu's arrest therefore is not in the interest of the country and its citizens.

    SARW calls on the government to release Mr. Maguwu and to institute a commission of enquiry into illegal diamond trade, mining related violence, and human rights abuses in Marange.

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