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Reform delay aiding Zim abuse — AI

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Reform delay aiding Zim abuse — AI

10th February 2010

By: Sapa

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The delay in reforming Zimbabwe's State institutions is contributing to the constant human rights abuse and harassment in that country, Amnesty International (AI) said on Tuesday.

"By delaying reform, the situation in Zimbabwe remains fragile as perpetrators continue to escape justice and are instead effectively given the all clear to continue violating human rights," Erwin van der Borght, AI's Africa director said in a statement.

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Torture, harassment and politically-motivated prosecution of human rights defenders and perceived opponents persisted, while villagers in parts of Zimbabwe suffered "ceaseless intimidation" by former ruling party Zanu-PF's supporters.

The army and intelligence services, as well as the attorney-general's office, remained under Zanu-PF control, despite a unity government having been formed last year. They were being left to "freely violate" human rights in pursuit of a political agenda.

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Army-backed Zanu-PF supporters were reportedly threatening villagers in some parts of the country with violence, to force them to endorse the heavily-criticised Kariba draft constitution.

The draft, agreed by unity government parties in September 2007, had been strongly criticised by civil society organisations as an attempt to impose a constitution without consultation.

"Villagers in Mutoko, Muzarabani and MT Darwin are reportedly being warned that they will face beatings unless they support the Zanu-PF position. Similar threats were made and materialised in the run-up to the June 2008 presidential elections."

The situation could deteriorate if nothing was done to stop State security agents from carrying out "violent political campaigns".

Van der Borght called on President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to "fulfil their promise to reform State institutions", to end human rights violations.

 

 

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