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Zimbabwe's 43rd Independence Commemoration Marred By Decline In Freedoms - Amnesty International

1 year agoTue, 18 Apr 2023 06:27:36 GMT
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Zimbabwe's 43rd Independence Commemoration Marred By Decline In Freedoms - Amnesty International

Amnesty International (AI) says as Zimbabweans mark forty-three years of independence from colonial rule, the reality is that the civic space is shrinking rapidly.

In a statement released this Tuesday, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East and Southern Africa Flavia Mwangovya, said Zimbabwean authorities have criminalised dissent against political activists and human rights defenders. Reads the statement:

Forty-three years after independence, authorities are still yet to guarantee in practice the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly which are increasingly being threatened despite being guaranteed under the constitution and international law.

The right to freedom of peaceful assembly has continuously been violated and undermined with the authorities refusing to give clearance for some of the main opposition party’s rallies, arresting and convicting peaceful protesters and using unnecessary and excessive force to stop protests.

As Zimbabwe approaches elections later this year, freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly have come under increasing attack.

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Dissenting voices are being criminalized, with some opposition activists put in lengthy pre-trial detentions.

Authorities must stop criminalizing dissent and ensure the levelling of the playing field as the country fast approaches the elections.

The opposition must be free to carry out their campaigns and individuals and groups must be protected from politically motivated violence.

Authorities must promote, protect and uphold the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, as well as guarantee the socio-economic rights of every Zimbabwean.

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