Southern Africa Committee

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Tel: (212) 663-5989



Zimbabwe and Human Rights


Human rights in Zimbabwe continue to suffer.  This decline has been reported by numerous sources including the international media.  In May 2003 Amnesty International reported “Since 2000, the human rights situation in Zimbabwe has undergone a rapid decline.”  In June 2003 Human Rights Watch reported “The political violence prevalent in rural areas since 2000 has now become common in urban centers, and non-political actors such as civic organizations and church leaders are increasingly targeted.  The majority of the violence in recent months has been committed by state security forces and youth militias.”


In March 2002 Zimbabwe had a highly disputed election that featured intimidation, death and irregularities.  The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the victim of the intimidation and irregularities, seriously challenged ZANU-PF and its leader Prime Minister Robert Mugabe, who has lead the country since independence.  In the lead up to the election Mugabe declared “We will never allow the MDC to rule.”


 A Dream Betrayed by Janice McLaughlin, a longtime supporter of the struggle for independence and freedom in Zimbabwe, examines the 2002 election and looks back to the election in March 1980 when it was it was ZANU-PF that was the victim of organized intimidation


A small footnote to the 1980 election involved Southern Africa Committee.  Michael Schuster, an editor for Southern Africa magazine (published by Southern Africa Committee) and a reporter for Pacifica Radio, was traveling with a group of American observers when they detained by and interrogated by Rhodesian security forces in a tribal area outside Salisbury on February 17, 1980.  The observers were part of a group organized by the American Committee on Africa (ACOA) including include George M. Houser, executive director of ACOA, Tilden LeMelle, professor at Hunter College in New York and ACOA treasurer, and Cynthia Cannady, an attorney from Washington, D.C. representing TransAfrica, a black American lobbing organization.


Links on Zimbabwe and Human Rights


The Amani Trust

Community-based care of the survivors of torture and organized violence.


Zimbabwe Human Rights Association

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum (also known as the “Human Rights Forum”) has been in existence since January 1998.  The Forum assists victims of organized violence.  It operates a legal unit and a research unit.  It consists of eleven core organizations and one associate member.  Includes information on political violence during the 2002 election.


Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (also known as the "Human Rights Forum") consists of a dozen organization that created the Forum January 1998.  This web site includes monthly reports on political violence.


Amnesty International reports on Zimbabwe


Human Rights Watch reports on Zimbabwe