Evaluating conditions for peaceful, transparent, free and fair elections in Zimbabwe

On Friday 7 June 2013, the ICJ convened a parallel event during the Human Rights Council’s 23rd regular session held in Geneva.

The event, held in Room IX of the Palais des Nations, addressed key issues concerning past and present challenges to the rule of law in Zimbabwe in the context of the upcoming elections and the need for the international community to remain vigilant about the necessity for free, fair and peaceful elections in the country. The event was chaired by Martin Okumu-Masiga, Deputy Director of the ICJ’s Africa Regional Programme. Panelists were MacDonald Lewanika, Director of Crisis Coalition; Okay Machisa, Director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association; and Irene Petras, Executive Director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

Zimbabwe is scheduled to hold general elections before the end of 2013. Past elections in the country have been marred by violence and attacks on human rights defenders and the rule of law more generally. In the period leading to the 2013 elections, there have been several incidents of crackdown on political dissents and independent voices. The impunity enjoyed by past and current perpetrators electoral violence has continued to exacerbate fears for the integrity, peaceful conduct and fairness of the upcoming elections.

Zimbabwe-HR Council side event on elections in Zimbabwe-event-2013 (event flyer in pdf)

ICJ draws attention to risks of violence in the forthcoming general elections in Zimbabwe