Friday, 1 April 2011

Dear Friends,

A number of individuals and organisations have expressed concern and outrage at the arrest of the Forum's Executive Director, Abel Chikomo on charges of running an illegal operation in contravention of the Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) Act, a charge that our Executive Director vigourously denies.

Our member organisation the Zimbabwe Association of Human Rights (ZimRights) issued the attached Statement today, 1.4.11 which condemns the charging by the police of our Executive Director, Abel Chikomo and expresses concern at the continued unwarrented and abhorrent attacks on human rights defenders in Zimbabwe. ZimRights acknowledges that there are many police officers who conscientiously and diligently perform their duties of protecting the citizens but, that “there are other elements within the police force who are abdicating their duties and chosing to be politically partisan, serving one party to harrass its percieved critics and human rights defenders”.

The attached Alert of 1.4.11 issued by our member organisation Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) reports that our members in GALZ have also been experiencing unwarranted harrassment from the police.

Human Rights Watch have also expressed concern. In the lead up to the SADC Troika in Zambia, Human Rights Watch issued a statement on 29.3.11 calling on the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to press President Robert Mugabe and his party to end their harassment and arbitrary arrests of civil society activists and political opponents, including the Forum's Director Abel Chikomo. The full Statement can be read on line via the following link:

A SADC Communique was issued on 31.4.11 following the SADC Summit of the Organ Troika on Politics, Defence and Security Co-opeation which took place in Livingstone, Zambia and considered the political and security situations in Zimbabwe, amongst other countries..

The SADC Troika noted its grave concern at the polarisation of the political environment and the resurgence of violence, arrests and intimidation in Zimbabwe, and resolved that this should end. It made a number of other resolutions on Zimbabwe, including a new proposal to appoint a team of officials to join the Facilitation Team and work with the Joint Implementation and Monitoring Committee (JOMIC) to ensure monitoring, implementation and evaluation of the GPA. The full Communique can be read on line via the following link:

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition has issued a number of items in recent days, these include the following:


The attached Press Statement of 30.4.11 was made ahead of the SADC
Troika meeting and after a meeting of civil society organisations
which took place yesterday in Livingstone, Zambia. The Statement
recommends five steps that it says SADC must take to ensure
democratic elections in Zimbabwe.


Issue 19 of 'Zimbabwe Briefing' released by the Regional Offices
of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coation was released on 30.3.11. The
Briefing includes an account of the brutal treatment and violent
interrogation that was the police allegedly meted out to activist
Hopewell Gumbo, one of the activists picked up in Harare and
charged with treason for watching videos of the Egyptian and
Tunisain revoloution. Unfortunately, the Zimbabwe Briefing is too
large to attach here, however we would be pleased to send you a
copy upon request.

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) issued the attached congratulatory message to Jestina Mukoko, the Director of our member organisation Zimbabwe Peace Project. Jestina was hounoured with the prestigious Fench 'Order of the Legion of Honour' award. The Forum would also like to add our voice hearty congratulations to Jestina.

On 31.3.11 Veritas issued the attached Bill Watch 13 2011 containing the results of the voting for the re-election of the Speaker of Parliament and makes comment on the election.

-- International Liaison Office
Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum
56-64 Leonard Street
London EC2A 4LT
Tel. +44-(0)20-7065 0945
The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum has been in existence since January 1998 when non-governmental orgainsiations working in the field of human rights joined together to provide legal and psychological assistance to the victims of the Food Riots of January 1998. The Forum consists of 19 Zimbabwean human rights organisations. The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum operates a Research and Documentation Unit and offers legal services through the Public Interest Unit from the Headquarters in Harare, in addition to the information service that is offered internationally from the International Liaison Office. The International Liaison Office of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO in an effort to ensure the widest possible coverage for our reports, constantly updates and adds to the email addresses on our list using member organisations' contact lists or other sources. If you would like to have your name removed from the list, please send an email to with the word 'unsubscribe' in the subject field.

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