International human Rights Day

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					                                10 December 2008

     Statement on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (the Forum) joins the rest of the
world in commemorating International Human Rights Day and the 60th
Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

This year’s theme, “Dignity and justice for all of us,” reinforces the vision of the
UDHR - a commitment to universal dignity and justice. The UDHR and its
core values - inherent human dignity, non-discrimination, equality, fairness
and universality, apply to everyone, everywhere and always. This year’s
global theme for the International Human Rights Day, is a most appropriate
one for Zimbabwe which has witnessed a debilitating and unprecedented
collapse of the political, economic and social structures. The situation in
Zimbabwe has caused untold suffering to a people who have had to witness
and endure a sustained campaign of callous murders, torture, an erosion of all
fundamental liberties and harassment for simply holding alternative and/or
dissenting views to the establishment.

The initial euphoria that had been created by the 15 September 2008 signing
of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) has disappeared. The GPA was a
compromise arrangement which was only acceptable in as far as it sought to
bring an end to the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe. The period
following the signing of the GPA has seen the health delivery system collapse
with most public health institutions closing living the majority of
Zimbabweans without access to basic health care. This situation has been
compounded by a cholera outbreak that has seen over 10 000 people infected
and more than 600 dying as a result of the epidemic. The period has also seen
a resurgence of politically motivated violence, with at least 19 MDC and civil
society members abducted in the two months following the signing of the
The Forum calls upon the authorities governing Zimbabwe to uphold the core
values expounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and end the
spate of abductions that has rocked the country, release all prisoners of
conscience and ensure dignity and justice for all of us.