Amnesty International urges global ED censure over army abuses

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By Staff Reporter

GLOBAL rights lobby, Amnesty International has urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s friends within the broader international community to dump diplomacy and call him to order in the wake of a fierce state crackdown on civilians by Zimbabwean authorities.

Mnangagwa’s administration is under fire for allegedly visiting brutalities on citizens accused of taken part in last month’s violent anti-government protests.

In a statement Friday, Amnesty International said it launched its own investigations into the deadly skirmishes and unearthed massive rights abuses against civilians by security forces.

These included killings and injuries through gunshots, torture, rape and dragnet arrests which were coupled with denial of bail by the courts.

The Amnesty International brief detailing the abuses is entitled “Open for business, closed for Dissent”.

Amnesty International Deputy Regional Director for Southern Africa Muleya Mwananyanda said Mnangagwa has squandered a great opportunity to guide a hurting nation from its bitter past under his predecessor Robert Mugabe, into a new world that has respect for human rights.

Mwananyanda said Mnangagwa’s mantra has been jeopardised by his apparent disrespect for human rights.

“The Zimbabwean authorities will never be able to convince anyone that the country is open for business if they continue to crackdown on anyone who dares to criticize them.

“People must be allowed to peacefully express their opinions, even if the government doesn’t like them.”

She added, “Other members of the international community also have a role to play, including those that embraced president Mnangagwa’s ‘new dawn’.

“The time has come for them to take an unequivocal stand and publicly condemn the escalating human rights violations in Zimbabwe.”