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2002 Presidential & Harare Municipal elections - Index of articles
Zimbabwe: Africa must seize opportunity to protect the rights of all its
Amnesty International SADC
March 28, 2002
of Amnesty International’s members in Southern Africa today called on
African leaders in general and Southern African Development Community
(SADC) diplomats in particular to seize every opportunity to protect the
rights of citizens in Zimbabwe. Current discussions on Zimbabwe at the
United Nations Commission on Human Rights provide the perfect opportunity
at the highest of international fora.
"The adage, If Not
Us Who, If Not Now When?’ has never rung more true than at present for the
protection of human rights in Zimbabwe" according to the Amnesty International
SADC Network, representing the organization’s African members in Botswana,
Mauritius, South Africa,, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
countries do not take the lead in the protection of human rights in Zimbabwe
this can only be to the detriment on its citizens. Ordinary Zimbabweans
who have borne the brunt of human rights violations since the Matabeleland
massacres in the early eighties, through the parliamentary elections in
2000 to the presidential elections in 2002 are now desperately looking
towards Africa - not Europe or Scandinavia - for an unequivocal acknowledgement
of their suffering," said Samkelo Mokhine press officer for Amnesty
International South Africa, and a member or the research delegation that
visited Zimbabwe during the recent presidential elections.
investigations by the United Nations into human rights violations in Zimbabwe
will lay to rest any illusions promoted by the Zimbabwean authorities
that the suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans is a figment of their imaginations,"
At the UN Commission
on Human Rights meeting in Geneva, Amnesty International is calling for
a resolution concerning the human rights situation in Zimbabwe. UN Secretary
General Kofi Annan, High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson and
human rights experts on the independence of the judiciary and freedom
of expression have all also raised their concerns about the intimidation
and violations in the run-up to the presidential elections.
African support for
a resolution on Zimbabwe will be vital to ensure that any resolution at
the UN Commission on Human Rights will effectively lead to Zimbabwe’s
acceptance of the Commissions thematic investigators visiting the country.
the rest of the continent will get a clear indication about what to expect
for the protection of their own rights from the protection afforded to
citizens of Zimbabwe by the African leadership at the UN" concluded
Mokhine speaking on behalf of Amnesty International SADC Network.
For further information
or interviews contact:
- Samkelo Mokhine
of AI South Africa on +27-83-26-126-56 or
- Cathy Turner in
Geneva on + 41 79 3566292
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