Govt must prosecute rights abusers – HRW

JOHANNESBURG An international human rights watchdog says that the Zimbabwean governments failure to investigate and prosecute politically motivated killings, torture and violence since the 2008 elections will fuel further human rights violations.

In a 40-page report, Perpetual Fear: Impunity and Cycles of Violence in Zimbabwe, released here on Tuesday, Human Rights Watch examines the lack of justice in several cases of political killings, torture and abductions by mostly government-deployed security agents and other paramilitary groups aligned to Mugabes Zanu (PF) party during and after the botched Presidential re-run of June 2008.

To prevent further bloodshed, which has already started in some parts of Zimbabwe, HRW, through its senior researcher for Africa Division, Tiseke Kasambala, called on the inclusive government to immediately conduct credible, impartial and transparent investigations into human rights abuses and prosecute those responsible, regardless of their position or rank.

Human Rights Watch previously documented cases of violence during the 2008 elections, showing that the Zanu (PF)-led government was responsible, at the highest levels, for widespread and systematic abuses, said Kasambala.

There has been little or no accountability for these crimes. Complaints of political violence filed by victims or their relatives have been ignored by the police or stalled in the courts. The government has failed to respond to calls to investigate abuses.

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