We the representatives of non-governmental organizations attending the NGO forum of the 38th ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights,
Recalling that the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted a resolution (NGO/Res/0007-1105) on the situation in Zimbabwe, during its 38th Ordinary Session, held in Banjul, The Gambia;
Considering that Zimbabwe is party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other international human rights instruments;
Recalling the recommendations to the government of Zimbabwe contained in the African Commission Report of the Fact-Finding Mission to Zimbabwe in June 2002;
Further recalling the recommendations to the government of Zimbabwe by the United Nations Special Envoy on Human Settlement Issues in Zimbabwe in her Report published on 22 July 2005;
Deeply concerned by the continued undermining of the independence of the judiciary through defiance of court orders, harassment and intimidation of independent-minded judicial officers, and the executive ouster of the jurisdiction of the courts, and the impact this has had on access to justice for victims of the forced evictions, as well as other victims of human rights violations, the deterioration of the human rights situation in Zimbabwe, the breakdown of the rule of law, and to the growing culture of impunity;
Alarmed by the increasing number of internally displaced persons and the associated violations of their fundamental rights resulting from the forced evictions carried out by the government of Zimbabwe:
Hereby call upon the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to:
1. Condemn the human rights violations currently being perpetrated by the government of Zimbabwe, including politically motivated killings and kidnappings, discrimination against ethnic minorities as well as torture, rape and abuses of persons perceived as opposition supporters by security forces ;
2. Demand the government of Zimbabwe to immediately cease the practice of forced evictions throughout the country, and to adhere to its obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other international human rights instruments to which Zimbabwe is a party;
3. Urge the government of Zimbabwe to implement without further delay the recommendations contained in the African Commission Report of the Fact-Finding Mission to Zimbabwe and the recommendations in the Report of the UN Special Envoy on Human Settlement Issues; in particular by ensuring full and unimpeded access for the provision of aid and protection to the victims of the forced evictions and demolitions by impartial national and international humanitarian agencies and human rights monitors, and by ensuring that those responsible for the violations are brought to justice without delay;
4. Request the African Union to encourage the government of Zimbabwe to implement the recommendations of the African Commission and the UN Special Envoy on Human Settlement Issues and to renew the mandate of the African Union Envoy on Zimbabwe to investigate the human rights implications and the humanitarian consequences of the mass evictions and demolitions;
5. Appeal to the African Union to place the human rights situation in Zimbabwe on the agenda of its June 2006 Assembly of Heads of State and Government.
Hereby call upon the Government of Zimbabwe to:
1. Cooperate with the African Commission Special Rapporteur on Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Internally Displaced Persons in Africa, including by allowing a Fact-Finding Mission to investigate the current situation of internally displaced persons in Zimbabwe;
2. Reaffirm its commitment to upholding the principle of separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary; and to immediately repeal or amend Constitutional Amendment (No.17) and provide an environment conducive to wholesale, people-driven constitutional reform;
3. Respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of expression, association and assembly by repealing or amending repressive legislation such as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the Broadcasting Services Act and the Public Order and Security Act.
4. Provide adequate and sufficient housing needs to the victims of ‘Operation Restore Order’ and access to education, HIV/AIDS treatment and other medical care.
Done in Banjul, 8 May, 2006