ICJ denounces attacks on the rule of law and human rights in Zimbabwe

Today, the ICJ denounced the escalation of attacks by the Robert G. Mugabe regime on the rule of law and human rights in Zimbabwe.

According to information received by the ICJ today the government threatened with death anybody who opposes it.

According to such information, also, the ruling ZANU-PF party threatened to go to war if it lost next month’s general elections. « Such verbal attacks are frightening and do not augur well for the future of democracy in Zimbabwe. They could provoke chaos in the country which would serve as a pretext for installing a state of emergency before next month’s elections », stated Secretary-General Adama Dieng.

The ICJ categorically rejects such threats which constitute a clear violation of international human rights standards. The ICJ views such verbal excesses as symptomatic of the acceleration of the erosion of the rule of law in Zimbabwe over the past few months. It follows the government inaction in relation to the occupation of farms owned by white Zimbabweans in the country in violation of Article 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights which enshrines the right to own property. It also follows the government’s recent violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Privileges which resulted from the opening of British diplomatic pouch in Zimbabwe.

The ICJ recalls that in the last few months the government brutally assaulted members of the legal profession who were demonstrating and arrested and physically abused journalists who were merely exercising their professional functions.

The ICJ calls on all States, the United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity, to maintain utmost vigilance in relation to the human rights and rule of law situation in Zimbabwe and take appropriate diplomatic, economic and financial measures should there be a further degradation of the situation in Zimbabwe.

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