Geneva — Expressing “grave alarm”, UN human rights experts have called on Zimbabwe to immediately end a reported pattern of disappearances and torture that appear aimed at suppressing protests and dissent.
“Targeting peaceful dissidents, including youth leaders, in direct retaliation for the exercise of their freedom of association, peaceful assembly and freedom of expression is a serious violation of human rights law.”
“Under the absolute and non-derogable prohibition of torture and ill-treatment, which includes enforced disappearance and violence against women, Zimbabwe must take all measures in its power to prevent such abuse, to investigate suspected violations, and to bring any perpetrators to justice,” the experts said.
The experts were: Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances: Luciano Hazan (Chair-Rapporteur), Tae-Ung Baik (Vice Chair), Bernard Duhaime, Ms. Houria Es-Slami, and Henrikas Mickevičius; David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Clement Nyaletsossi Voule, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; Ms. Dubravka Šimonovic, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences.
The Special Rapporteurs, Independent Experts and Working Groups are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council.