Lawmakers must act on gross human rights violations

THE United Nations (UN) chose March 24 of each year as the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims to recognise and honour the memory of victims of human rights violations, to promote the importance of the right to truth and justice, and to pay tribute to those who have dedicated their lives to the struggle for fostering a culture of human rights around the world. People have the right to know the truth about gross human rights violations and serious violations of human rights law.

Has been missing since March 2015 ... Itai Dzamara

Has been missing since March 2015 … Itai Dzamara

An international observance that dates back to 2010, this day obliges governments to protect and guarantee human rights, to carry out effective investigations and to guarantee effective remedies and reparations to victims of human rights excesses.

In Zimbabwe, this International Day is being marked at a time when many families are agonising over the pervasive tragedy of enforced disappearances and the failure by Zimbabwean authorities to investigate, establish the whereabouts and update family members on progress regarding the missing persons. These include Patrick Nabanyama, Paul Chizuze and Itai Dzamara.

ZLHR remains deeply concerned that probe reports submitted by the Zimbabwe Republic Police as far as investigating the disappearance of Dzamara as ordered by the High Court in March 2015 show very little progress, if any at all.

We condemn the lack of progress made in investigating the human rights violations highlighted by the abduction and enforced disappearance of Dzamara, Chizuze and Nabanyana and in punishing those responsible. Those responsible for disappearing these citizens have committed a heinous crime under international law. It is traumatising that since the disappearance of Nabanyama in 2000, Chizuze in 2012 and Dzamara in 2015.

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