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IBAHRI condemns violent crackdown in Zimbabwe

Amid reports of excessive violence resulting in the deaths of 12 people, the arrests of more than 700 people and injuries from the use of live ammunition by the Zimbabwe National Army and the Zimbabwe Republic Police, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) condemns the violent crackdown in Zimbabwe against civilians protesting steep increases in fuel prices.

The Director of the IBAHRI, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, commented: ‘We are greatly alarmed by reports of gross violations of human rights, the severity of response to protests and the interference with the right to a fair trial for those detained during the protests. The Zimbabwean authorities flagrant disregard for the Rule of Law, a fundamental pillar of democracy, is deeply disturbing.

According to information received by the IBAHRI, security forces have targeted males, regardless of age, found in close proximity to where barricades were set up by demonstrators in areas where looting occurred. Further accounts include details of 78 people seeking medical attention for gunshot wounds; almost 250 reported cases of assault and torture; the denial of bail applications; minors as young as 11 years of age arrested and detained in the same cells as adults; and the authorities conducting fast-tracked trials in relation to these arrests, which did not permit lawyers sufficient time to prepare their cases. Many of the accused persons were also reportedly denied bathing facilities and access to medical treatment for their injuries.

ENDS

Notes to the Editor

  1. The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), an autonomous and financially independent entity, works to promote, protect and enforce human rights under a just rule of law, and to preserve the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession worldwide.

    The International Bar Association (IBA) – the global voice of the legal profession – is the foremost organisation for international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Established in 1947, shortly after the creation of the United Nations, it was born out of the conviction that an organisation made up of the world's bar associations could contribute to global stability and peace through the administration of justice. In the ensuing 70 years since its creation, the organisation has evolved, from an association comprised exclusively of bar associations and law societies, to one that incorporates individual international lawyers and entire law firms. The present membership is comprised of more than 80,000 individual international lawyers from most of the world’s leading law firms and some 190 bar associations and law societies spanning more than 170 countries.

    The IBA has considerable expertise in providing assistance to the global legal community, and through its global membership it influences the development of international law reform and helps to shape the future of the legal profession throughout the world.

    The IBA’s administrative office is in London, United Kingdom. Regional offices are located in: São Paulo, Brazil; Seoul, South Korea; and Washington DC, United States, while the International Bar Association’s International Criminal Court and International Criminal Law Programme (ICC & ICL) is managed from an office in The Hague, the Netherlands.

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