Human rights in Zimbabwe
In the three decades since independence, Zimbabwe has continued to experience violence and economic and political instability. Amnesty International is concerned about the failure of the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) to address the legacy of human rights violations and to respect the human rights guaranteed in the country’s own constitution.
After devastating political violence in the run-up to the 2008 presidential elections, a Government of National Unity was brokered between the two main political parties through regional mediation. While this unified government was able to implement some basic financial reforms that stabilized the economy, unlawful restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly continued.
In 2013, after the adoption of a new constitution, presidential elections were held. These elections ended the term of the power-sharing government and brought President Robert Mugabe into power once more. Although many regional observers declared the elections to be free and fair, local non-governmental organizations as well as opposition leaders raised concerns about missing ballots, an error-filled voter’s roll, and possible voter manipulation.
Despite a new constitution that promotes human rights, Zimbabweans still lack many important political freedoms and struggle to meet basic needs for food and shelter. Amnesty International Canada works with partner organizations such as Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) to demand the realization of basic rights for all Zimbabweans, and continually advocates for safe and adequate housing for Zimbabweans, particularly those displaced by forced evictions.
With many civil society activists and human rights defenders in Zimbabwe still facing politically motivated persecution for their actions, it remains as important as ever to demand that the GoZ meet its human rights obligations.