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on Lovemore Madhuku's house
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
January 03, 2007
On 31 December
2006, the Waterfalls home of National
Constitutional Assembly chairman, Lovemore Madhuku was attacked
by unknown assailants who set a substance on fire close to his bedroom.
for Human Rights is concerned at the attack on the seasoned human
rights defender which appears to have been well planned and targeted.
Such a cowardly attack on an innocent unarmed civilian whose transgression
is showing extreme concern about the national wellbeing of our country
can only come from individuals who have no respect for human rights
and normally act with the full knowledge of or acquiescence of some
state actors. ZLHR reiterates its public position that human rights
defenders like Dr Madhuku are often the only force standing between
ordinary people and the unbridled power of the state. They are vital
to the development of democratic processes and institutions, ending
impunity and the effective promotion and protection of human rights.
In 1998 the
UN General Assembly in recognising the vital work of human rights
defenders noted ‘with deep concern that, in many countries, persons
and organizations engaged in promoting and defending human rights
and fundamental freedoms are facing threats, harassment and insecurity
as a result of those activities, and that, in a number of countries
… impunity for threats, attacks and acts of intimidation against
human rights defenders persists and that this has a negative impact
on the work and safety of human rights defenders"
strongly condemns this attack and is of the considered view that
it is as an attempt to intimidate Dr Madhuku and send a strong chilling
message to other human rights defenders as part of the systematic
and sustained persecution of human rights defenders that has been
going on unchecked for some time in Zimbabwe.
urges the authorities to take an urgent public, impartial and transparent
investigation of this matter and bring the perpetrators to justice.
the ZLHR fact
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