Amnesty International Exposes Widespread Human Rights Violations in Zimbabwe 

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by Tsitsi Patience Mashiri

HARARE – Amnesty International’s latest report, “The State of the World’s Human Rights,” reveals alarming human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, particularly during the 2023 election period. 

The report that was launched today at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Harare, documents cases of political violence, abductions, torture, sexual and gender-based violence, and restrictions on sexual reproductive health rights.

The report, which covers 155 countries, reveals Zimbabwe as one of the worst offenders, painting a dire picture of a country where citizens’ fundamental rights are being systematically eroded, further highlighting the urgent need for action to protect and uphold human rights in Zimbabwe.”

Lucia Masuka, Executive Director for Amnesty International Zimbabwe, emphasised the organisation’s engagement with legislators, particularly on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR). 

“We successfully pushed for the issue of obstetric fistula to be recognised as a national concern, with two female parliamentarians making submissions in parliament.”

Vongai Chikwanda, Deputy Regional Director for Amnesty International South Africa, highlighted the organisation’s advocacy efforts with the Zimbabwean government on issues like SRHR, the death penalty, maternal health, and community radio licensing.

The report’s launch comes with a call to action for authorities to protect and uphold the rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, as well as social and economic rights for all Zimbabweans. 

Masuka urged the international community to support mechanisms like special rapporteurs and inquiries to investigate specific violations, particularly cases of abduction and torture.

The report also highlights the challenges in accessing healthcare, with 27 pregnant women in Ghana’s Bawku municipality dying between 2021 and 2022 due to lack of access to medical services. 

In Zimbabwe, child marriages have accelerated diseases like obstetric fistula, with Paida Muswara sharing a heartbreaking story of her granddaughter’s struggles with the condition.

The report emphasises the violations of human rights, including freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of expression, and freedom of association. Despite Zimbabwe’s Constitution guaranteeing these rights, people continue to face abductions and torture.

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