CIVIL SOCIETY'S PLEA TO THE EU OVER THE DETERIORATING HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN ZIMBABWE
Attention: President of the European Commission
Via European Union Embassy
Mr Jean-Claude Juncker
C/O His Excellency
Mr Timo Olkkonen
Head of Delegation
CC: Embassy of Switzerland
17 January 2019
RE: CESSATION OF VIOLATIONS AS PRESIDENT EMMERSON MNANGAGWA’S ENTRY INTO THE EU FOR WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
We, Civil Society Organisations in Zimbabwe, under the banner of Crisis Coalition write to request that you demand that President Emmerson Mnangagwa immediately cease the ongoing human rights violations and restore the rule of law in Zimbabwe as preconditions for his delegation’s entry into the European Union (EU) territory next week.
We believe our request is in line with the values, law and policies of the European Union and the broader international community.
The bottom line Mr President is that Mr Mnangagwa’s administration through its own actions has become “hostis humanis generis” inclined to use murder of unarmed civilians as a tool to retain power.
At the time of his departure for eventual entry into the EU, President Mnangagwa, with his usual indifference to human suffering, announced unpopular increases on the price of fuel to which citizens across Zimbabwe responded by spontaneous lawful demonstrations. In a bid to silence the masses, state security forces aided by Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) paramilitary youths dressed in police and army uniforms are engaged in ongoing, twenty-four hours a day attacks on the townships across the country. These attacks are characterized by indiscriminate fatal shootings and other methods of torture including credible reports of rape.
You are also aware that the Mnangagwa administration has switched off internet access for most of the country in a bid to cover up the abuses. It is ironic Mr President, that Mr Mnangagwa wants his voice to be heard internationally while he is actively preventing the Zimbabwean people from telling the world of their experiences at his hands.
We believe that receiving President Mnangagwa in Switzerland at a time he is leading continued and ongoing gross, mass violations of human rights of the Zimbabwean citizens emboldens him in his murderous enterprise. It ignores the suffering of the Zimbabwean people and undermines your position as one of the world’s key voices on international law and human rights.
You will understand the difficulty that the opposition and civic leaders have in openly speaking out given the level of state sanctioned intimidation and credible threats to their persons and families.
We trust that you will use your good offices to engage our ideas.