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

The ICJ has forwarded information to the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression concerning signs of impending violence surrounding the general elections to be held in Zimbabwe.

In statement prepared for an interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Mr Frank La Rue, the ICJ drew attention to current and possible further attacks against political dissent or non-aligned opinions. As well as drawing attention to tensions between the newly promulgated Constitution of Zimbabwe and existing repressive laws affecting the freedom of expression, the ICJ called on the Council and the Special Rapporteur to urge Zimbabwe to:

  • Ensure the effective and unimpeded exercise of freedom of expression before, during and after the general elections to be held by the end of this year;
  • Amend or repeal all laws restricting the freedom of expression; and
  • Establish mechanisms to prevent and address partisan conduct by police and intelligence officers.

The statement was to have been delivered under Item 3 (promotion and protection of all human rights) of the agenda of the Human Rights Council’s 23rd regular session (27 May to 14 June 2013). Due to restrictions in the time available under the debate, the oral statement could not be delivered during the session of the Council.

Zimbabwe-HRC23-OralStatementFOE-LegalSubmission-2013 (download statement in PDF)

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