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Talks, dialogue, negotiations and GNU - Post June 2008 "elections" - Index of articles
Put human rights at the top of the political agenda - A five point
human rights agenda for the inclusive government
February 10, 2009
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As the political parties
in Zimbabwe set up an inclusive government, Amnesty International
is calling on the new government to place human rights at the top
of its agenda.
The inauguration of an
inclusive government is an important opportunity for the Zimbabwe
African National Union -- Patriotic Front and the two formations
of the Movement for Democratic Change to demonstrate to the Zimbabwean
people and rest of the world that they are committed to a future
where human rights are truly and fully respected, protected, promoted
Since 2000, the human
rights situation in Zimbabwe has deteriorated sharply. Amnesty International
is concerned about the role played by the security forces in silencing
perceived political opponents including human rights defenders and
political activists from opposition parties. In addition, the rights
to freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression have
been curtailed with almost total impunity.
remains concerned about the plight of hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans
whose homes and businesses were destroyed during Operation Murambatsvina
is also concerned about the deteriorating economic and social conditions
in Zimbabwe. In particular, the organisation is concerned about
the increased food insecurity, collapse of public health, and failing
The first 100
days of the new administration offers the chance for President Robert
Mugabe and Prime Minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai to take concrete
steps to demonstrate the commitment of the new government to internationally
recognized human rights, including those guaranteed under the African
Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). The new government
should ensure full compliance with Zimbabwe's international and
regional human rights obligations and commitments, as explicitly
set out in the treaties it has ratified.
is calling on the government to implement a clear agenda for human
rights which includes the following five points:
1. The new government
should immediately and unconditionally release Prisoners of Conscience
Jestina Mukoko, Broderick Takawira, and Pascal Gonzo. It should
also either promptly charge all known and unknown political detainees
with recognizable crimes, and ensure prompt and fair trial for them,
or release them immediately.
2. The new
government should commit itself to opening up the operational environment
for all NGOs and human rights groups, political parties and independent
3. The new government
should publicly acknowledge all human rights violations by the previous
government, commit to establishing the truth, and take effective
measures to guarantee non-repetition.
4. The new government
should immediately end partisan policing and combat impunity for
human rights violations by the security forces.
5. The new government
should prioritise the full realisation of all economic, social and
cultural rights including rights to food, health, education and
housing. Where it is unable to meet its minimum core obligations,
it should seek international assistance.
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