Zimbabwe is suffering ”persistent and serious” human rights violations despite the formation of a unity government four months ago, Amnesty International’s secretary general, Irene Khan, said on Thursday.
”The human rights situation in Zimbabwe is precarious and the socio-economic conditions are desperate for the vast majority of Zimbabweans,” she told reporters in Harare following a six-day mission to the country.
”Persistent and serious human rights violations continue,” she said.
”The failure to introduce reforms of the police, army and security forces, or address impunity, and the lack of clear commitment of some parts of government are real obstacles that need to be confronted by the top leadership of Zimbabwe,” she added.
She urged the new unity government formed in February between long-ruling President Robert Mugabe and his one-time rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, to commit to human rights reforms.
She said the power-sharing pact ”provides a framework for change, but commitment to its implementation is not consistent throughout the government”.
”The government must give as much attention to securing human rights reforms as they are to seeking economic resources,” she added.
Khan said a climate of intimidation pervades, with human rights activists and Tsvangirai supporters still being prosecuted on terror charges, adding that media reforms have been ignored.
Violence continues on white-owned farms, while no investigations have been opened into the deadly political violence that rocked the country last year.
”There seems to be no real sense of urgency to bring about human rights changes on the part of some government leaders. Words have not been followed by effective action,” she said. — AFP