Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Message from Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum

Dear Friends

Today, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum released Monthly Political Violence Reports for the month of July and August 2008. The July report notes that there were numerous cases of retributive violence that were reported countrywide soon after the run off elections on 27 June 2008. Continued cases of retributive violence, some leading to deaths are reported in the August report. These can be found on line on our website at
http://www.hrforumzim.com/frames/inside_frame_monthly.htm for July and
http://www.hrforumzim.com/frames/inside_frame_monthly.htm for August

The 44th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) opened in Abuja, Nigeria today. When NGO’s met on the eve of this Commission several statements were adopted at the end of the meeting yesterday, 9.11.08. These included the attached items:

- A Resolution on Zimbabwe was adopted. It observes the inordinate delay in implementing the power sharing agreement and calls on the ACHPR, AU and SADC to undertake a number of actions as well as to remind Zimbabwe of its obligation to regional and international agreements amongst other things.
- A Resolution on Human Rights Defenders noted with deep concern the ‘severe wave of repression of human rights defenders in Zimbabwe’ and gives particular mention to the recent case of the two women of Women of Zimbabwe Arise after their demonstration to denounce the alarming economic and social situation of the country.
- Thematic Recommendations on Torture and Prisons in Africa were adopted in the context of what was described as ‘concern at the instances of torture perpetrated and overlooked by the government of certain African states and the slow pace of prison reform.’

The Director of Zimbabwe Exiles Forum; Gabriel Shumba; presented a paper on 8.11.08 to the just ended Forum on the Participation of NGOs which met ahead of the 44th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) taking place in Abuja Nigeria between 10
th – 24th November 2008 . The paper notes that since the signing of the power-sharing deal on the 15th September, there has been no visible improvement in the human rights situation in Zimbabwe.

Yesterday, 9.11.08 an Extra-Ordinary Summit of the SADC Heads of State and Government met in South Africa to review the latest political and security situation in the region with particular reference to the current development sin the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Zimbabwe.

In the Bill Watch 44/2008 issued by Veritas on 8.11.08 there is further background information as to what issues were on the agenda of the SADC Summit. Items include an update on the current situation of the Zimbabwean Parliament, an item around the claims that Zimbabwe is mobilising forces to fight in the civil war in the Eastern DRC, and news from the opening session of the Pan African Parliament.

Human Rights Watch released a report on 8.11.08 entitled ‘Our Hands Are Tied’ – Erosion of the Rule of Law in Zimbabwe. The 47 page report documents how ZANU PF has compromised the independence and impartiality of judges, magistrates and prosecutors and transformed the police into an openly unaccountable arm of ZANU PF. It can be read on line via the following web site

A training workshop on Transitional Justice is being run by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum together with the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), South Africa and IDASA.
The Workshop will take place between the 11-12.11.08 in Harare and is launched with a cocktail event this evening in Harare with guest of honour Yasmin Sooka, the Former Commissioner of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

International Liaison Office
Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum
56-64 Leonard Street
London EC2A 4LT
Tel. +44-(0)20-7065 0945

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