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United Nations tells Mnangagwa to stop abductions and torture of Zimbabweans

by Mandla Ndlovu
10 Jun 2020 at 13:45hrs | Views
United Nations human rights experts have called upon President Emmerson Mnanaggwa's government to, "immediately end a reported pattern of disappearances and torture that appear aimed at suppressing protests and dissent."

In an article published by United Nations Office of the High Commisioner for Human Rights, the rights body said Harare must, "drop all charges against member of parliament Joanna Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova  who were stopped at a police checkpoint in Harare and subsequently abducted, tortured and sexually assaulted.

"The charges against the three women should be dropped. Targeting peaceful dissidents, including youth leaders, in direct retaliation for the exercise of their freedom of association, peaceful assembly and freedom of expression is a serious violation of human rights law.

"Zimbabwe must urgently prosecute and punish the perpetrators of this outrageous crime, and to immediately enforce a policy of zero tolerance for abductions and torture throughout the country to ensure the effective protection of women against sexual violence, and to bring those responsible to account.

The experts expressed grave alarm over concerns this was not an isolated instance. In 2019 alone, 49 cases of abductions and torture were reported in Zimbabwe, without investigations leading to perpetrators being held to account.

"Enforced disappearances of women often involve sexual violence, and even forced impregnation, with enormous harm inflicted not only on their physical health and integrity, but also in terms of the resulting psychological damage, social stigma and disruption of family structures," the experts said.

"Under the absolute and non-derogable prohibition of torture and ill-treatment, which includes enforced disappearance and violence against women, Zimbabwe must take all measures in its power to prevent such abuse, to investigate suspected violations, and to bring any perpetrators to justice," the experts said.

They also urged the government to allow official visits of UN human rights experts with a view to assessing the human rights situation in the country.

Source - Byo24News