ZIMBABWE

In the context of the UPR, Amnesty International has made the following recommendations to Zimbabwe


Human rights violations against human rights defenders
:
  • To repeal or amend sections of the Public Order and Security Act and other laws that place unnecessary restrictions on human rights defenders exercising their rights to freedom of association and peaceful assembly.  Such national laws should be compatible with international treaties to which Zimbabwe is a party, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;
  • To amend existing rules for the security forces when policing peaceful demonstrations and other assemblies, to bring them into full compliance with the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials. The government should ensure that all incidents where force is used against peaceful assemblies are promptly and thoroughly investigated, and prompt sanctions effected on police and security officials found to have breached such rules;
  • To invest in the training of police officials to build skills in mediation and negotiation with a view to limiting the use of force and firearms in line with Principle 20 of the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials;
    Where injury is caused by the use of force, to instruct police to ensure that assistance and medical aid are rendered to those injured or affected at the earliest possible moment, in accordance with Principle 5 of the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials;
  • To ensure that police allow all detainees, including human rights defenders, access to their lawyers, medical care, food and other needs;
    To ensure police officers operate on the basis of a general presumption against the arrest and detention of women who are pregnant, mothers and carers of children (including single mothers). In case of arrest and detention, the authorities must ensure that women who are pregnant, mothers (in particular those who are breast feeding) and carers of children are identified and considered for immediate release.

  • Torture, inhuman or degrading treatment of human rights defenders and other detainees:
  • To immediately ratify the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and its Optional Protocol and to reflect the provisions in national legislation.
  • To invite the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders and the Special Rapporteur on torture to visit Zimbabwe.
  • To investigate the state security agents responsible for the abduction of Jestina Mukoko and others with the view of bringing them to justice for the human rights violations committed as established by the Supreme Court ruling.

  • Impunity for human rights violations by the security forces:
  • To establish an independent commission of inquiry into all human rights violations since 2000, in particular the suppression of the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, with terms of reference and membership determined on the basis of broad consultation with all sectors of society, including victims.
  • To undertake prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigations of human rights violations and to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.  Members of the security forces found to be responsible for human rights violations should be removed from their posts according to procedures which comply with the requirements of due process.
  • To ensure non-recurrence of human rights violations by undertaking a programme of institutional and other reform to ensure respect for the rule of law and to foster a culture of respect for human rights.  To particularly prioritize reform of the Law and Order section and the anti-riot unit of the Zimbabwe Republic Police, to ensure that these units are not used to perpetrate human rights violations. The reform agenda should be developed through a process of broad public consultations, including with victims and other sectors of civil society.

  • Forced evictions:
  • To end all forced evictions, including through enforcing a clear prohibition on forced evictions and developing and implementing guidelines for evictions which comply with international human rights law. Pending such steps, a moratorium on mass evictions should be issued;
  • To ensure that all victims of forced evictions have access to minimum essential levels of shelter, clean water, sanitation, health services and education, including through the provision of humanitarian assistance where necessary;
  • To ensure a minimum degree of security of tenure to provide legal protection to all persons against forced eviction, harassment and other threats.
  • To undertake a comprehensive review of Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle to bring it in line with Zimbabwe’s human rights obligations.
  • To develop, in genuine consultation with affected communities, a comprehensive human rights-based housing programme to address the housing needs of all victims of Operation Murambatsvina. While allocating resources under the programme, the government should give priority to the most marginalized and vulnerable groups and ensure that it is implemented in a non-discriminatory manner;
  • To fully implement the recommendations contained in the 2005 Report of the UN Special Envoy on Human Settlement Issues in Zimbabwe.
     
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    Zimbabwe: Amnesty International's submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review

    Other Amnesty International documents on Zimbabwe