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  • Zimbabwe: Human rights agenda for the government, 2013 - 2018
    Amnesty International
    November 25
    , 2013

    View this document on the Amnesty International website

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    As the new government of Zimbabwe approaches its first 100 days in office, Amnesty International reflects on the country’s human rights record and outlines some of the opportunities available to the Zanu-PF government to improve it.

    The government’s term started on 22 August, when President Robert Mugabe took oath of office for a new five-year term, following the harmonized elections held on 31 July. President Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party received more than a two-thirds majority in the eighth parliament of Zimbabwe, which was sworn in on 17 September.

    This report urges the new government to take concrete steps to fulfil its international legal obligations and commitments relating to economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights. These steps should include, but are not limited to, measures to:

    Immediately impose an official moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty, and commute all death sentences.

    Repeal or amend all laws not consistent with the Constitution of Zimbabwe that was adopted on 22 May 2013.

    Improve the operating environment for human rights defenders, opposition parties and every person in Zimbabwe to enable them to enjoy their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.

    End forced evictions and ensure the full and effective enjoyment of the right to adequate housing, including pursuing effective remedies for those people affected by the 2005 mass forced evictions (known as Operation Murambatsvina) and other cases of forced evictions that have taken place.

    Continue with the institutional reforms that started under the Government of National Unity to ensure that all government institutions, including law enforcement agencies, operate in a professional and non-partisan manner and respect international human rights standards.

    Ensure that the Zimbabwe Republic Police fully respects and protects all the rights contained in the Declaration of Rights in the Constitution, including by: (a) conducting all its operations on a non-partisan basis; (b) fully upholding the rights of all arrested persons in line with Section 50 of the Constitution; and (c) training anti-riot police on how to police non-violent demonstrations in line with international standards.

    Fulfil all commitments made by the government during the Universal Periodic Review of Zimbabwe in March 2012.

    Ratify the International Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

    About this report

    This report is based on Amnesty International’s ongoing monitoring and documentation of the human rights situation in Zimbabwe since 2000, which includes numerous field trips to interview human right defenders and victims of human rights violations, as well as meetings with government officials. Amnesty International’s last field trip to Zimbabwe was conducted in July-August 2013.

    During the Government of National Unity (February 2009 to August 2013) Amnesty International delegations met several senior government officials from across the political divide and raised the organization’s concerns on critical human rights issues. The delegates urged these officials to take concrete measures to fulfil Zimbabwe’s obligations under international human rights law.

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