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Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture, A/HRC/22/53/Add.4, 12 March 2013: Zimbabwe

II. Observations by the Special Rapporteur

(b) JUA 17/08/2012 Case No. ZWE 6/2012 State reply: None to date

Alleged arrest, detention and ill-treatment of 44 members of Gays and Lesbians Zimbabwe

162. The Special Rapporteur regrets that the Government of Zimbabwe has not responded to this communication dated 17 August 2012, thereby failing to cooperate with the mandate established by the Human Rights Council. The communication referred to the alleged arrest, detention, ill-treatment, and beating of 44 members of Gays and Lesbian Zimbabwe (GALZ) by the police. The Special Rapporteur expresses serious concerns over the physical and mental integrity of the individuals in question. In this context, the Special Rapporteur stresses that each Government has the obligation to protect the right to physical and mental integrity of all persons, which is set forth inter alia in the UDHR and the ICCPR. The Special Rapporteur reiterates that paragraph 1 of Human Rights Council Resolution 16/23 “[c]ondemns all forms of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including through intimidation, which are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever and can thus never be justified, and calls upon all States to implement fully the absolute and non-derogable prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” The Special Rapporteur also reminds the Government of Principle 5, which provides that “[w]henever the use of force and firearms is unavoidable law enforcement officials shall, (a) Exercise restraint in such use and act in proportion to the seriousness of the offence and the legitimate object to be achieved; (b) Minimize damage and injury, and respect and preserve human life; (c) Ensure that assistance and medical aid are rendered to any injured or affected persons at the earliest possible moment and (d) Ensure that relatives or close friends of the injured or affected person are notified at the earliest possible moment.” The Special Rapporteur calls on the Government to uphold its obligations to protect the right to physical and mental integrity of all persons and to undertake a prompt, impartial, and effective investigation of the alleged acts of excessive use of force, leading to prosecution and punishment of the perpetrators, and to provide redress to the victims.

Link to full text of the report: Report-SRTorture-Communications and replies-2013-eng-fra-esp

Link to Special Rapporteur’s correspondence with the State: Correspondence-SR-Zimbabwe-5-2012-eng