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'Rights defenders' demand Dzamara's safe return

by Staff reporter
10 Mar 2021 at 06:09hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum yesterday urged government to take the necessary measures to ensure the safe return of journalist-cum-activist, Itai Dzamara, who was allegedly abducted by suspected State security agents in Glen View, Harare, six year ago and remains missing to this day.

In a statement yesterday, the organisation's deputy chairperson Chester Samba accused police of making no effort to investigate the matter despite a High Court order and pressure from local and international human rights defenders.

Dzamara went missing on March 9, 2015.

"Despite the police report and persistent widespread calls for investigations into the abduction, the Zimbabwe Republic Police has over the years remained reluctant and uninterested in diligently looking into the matter," Samba said.

"High Court judge Justice David Mangota ordered the police to fully investigate the disappearance of Dzamara. However, no meaningful investigations have taken place, as evidenced by the absence of any comprehensive reports submitted by the authorities."

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he could not comment on the matter as he was at a workshop.

"I cannot comment, I am at a workshop," Nyathi said.

Samba said government should take all necessary measures to guarantee the safe return of Dzamara and also ensure human rights defenders in Zimbabwe were able to carry out legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals or restrictions.

He said government should ratify, domesticate and fully implement the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance and against Torture.

Speaking at the Itai Dzamara virtual commemorative event, Amnesty International director Jessica Pwiti demanded that the authorities should investigate Dzamara's disappearance.

"People do not just disappear into thin air. Someone knows where Itai Dzamara is and we demand that they bring him back," she said.

Blessing Nyamaropa of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said the rights lawyers had written several letters to the police demanding to be apprised on the progress on their investigations.

Source - newsday