Zimbabwe: Pan-African Campaign of Solidarity for Zimbabwe

On Saturday 12 July 2008, following a call by CIVICUS: World Alliance For Citizen Participation, Amnesty International and the Global Call for Action Against Poverty (GCAP), citizens of Africa will unite to express their solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe who are suffering persistent violations of their rights. Saturday represents the launch of a Pan-African Campaign of Solidarity for Zimbabwe, and will be followed by events continent-wide.

The widespread killings, torture and intimidation of the political opposition that characterised the presidential election run-off on June 27 cannot be condoned under any circumstances. “By flagrantly and consistently violating the values upon which present day Africa is premised, Mr Mugabe has done great disservice to the people of Zimbabwe and the continent. We believe it is the responsibility of all Africans to urgently put a stop to Mr Mugabe’s anti-democratic activities” said Kumi Naidoo Honorary President of CIVICUS.

“The widespread killings, torture and assault of perceived opposition supporters must come to an end in Zimbabwe. Concrete action is long overdue and African leaders must end their silent acquiescence,” said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

In this hour of crisis, the people of Africa stand together with the people of Zimbabwe. “We urge African leaders to call for space to be opened up so that civil society can play a role in tackling Zimbabwe’s current crisis – we are needed now more than ever as millions of people face hunger through growing food insecurity brought on by mis-governance.” said Adelaide Sosseh, GCAP Co-chair based in The Gambia.

Saturday’s Pan-African events will express the concern of people continent-wide for the situation in Zimbabwe, and demonstrate the unity with which Africans stand against the violations committed against Zimbabwe’s people. It represents the beginning of an Africa-wide campaign at the grassroots level, allowing African voices to speak out about injustice in Zimbabwe. Note to Editors: There are a growing number of African voices speaking out against the suffering in Zimbabwe and demanding action from the African Union, the Southern African Development Community and individual African governments. The types of action that they are calling for include:

Appointment of an independent commission of inquiry to look into the recent human rights violations and abuses   Posting of human rights monitors to report on the current situation Urge a solution to the present political crisis and deep divisions amongst the people of Zimbabwe in the spirit of reconciliation and dialogue Restoration of the independence of the judiciary and accountability of security forces and law enforcement agencies

There will be a range of activities taking place across the African continent on Saturday 12 July 2008, organised by local civil society organisations and concerned citizens. The expressions of solidarity that they will be making include:  

Organising vigils outside the Zimbabwean embassies   Assembling outside government buildings or Houses of Parliament urging  national governments to play a more active role on Zimbabwe Meetings with heads of state, parliamentarians or local governments to urge action on Zimbabwe Publishing articles or letters in the national or local press on violations of human and people’s rights in Zimbabwe Organising press conferences with civil society representatives, government representatives and other experts on Zimbabwe Issuing a press releases urging action on Zimbabwe Directing people to sign a petition or take an e-action Presenting memorandums or submissions to the African Union, Southern African Development Community and national governments

CIVICUS statement on Zimbabwe: http://www.civicus.org/new/media/CIVICUS-Zimbabwe-Statement.pdf

Amnesty International statement on Zimbabwe: http://www.amnesty.org/

GCAP statement on Zimbabwe: http://www.whiteband.org/media/press-info/au-summit-egypt-the-chance-for…

For further information, please contact: For CIVICUS:                                 For media queries: Anupama Selvam                          Nastasya Tay     [email protected]    [email protected] +27 11 833 5959 ext. 107           +27 73 266 0493

For GCAP:                                     For Amnesty International: Joe Donlin                                      On Call Press Officer     [email protected]                 + 44 0777 847 2126