10 February 2019
The Chairperson of the African Union
African Union Headquarters
P.O. Box 3243, Roosevelt Street, W21K19
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
RE: The deterioration of human rights in Zimbabwe
We address you as the Chairperson of the African Union, the organisation founded on the fundamental ideals of Ubuntu and the custodian of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
We are a coalition of 20 human rights organizations operating in Zimbabwe. Our work dates back to 1998 when we started assisting victims of state brutality and working towards a society that respects all human rights.
The Gravity of the Human Rights Situation in Zimbabwe
Your Excellency, we write to bring to your attention the gravity of the situation in Zimbabwe and seek the urgent intervention of your highly esteemed offices to return our country to the ideals of the founders of African Union, to ensure that all Africans enjoy human rights.
Since the 12th of January 2019, when the President of Zimbabwe announced an unprecedented increase in the cost of fuel, the Zimbabwean people have experienced a systematic attack on their basic rights with the government unlawfully imposing a ‘de facto’ state of emergence and deploying the soldiers to terrorize civilians. Through the bravery of many defenders of human rights, we have compiled the attached report. Seventeen people, the majority of whom are young, have been killed since 14 January this year. Recently, reports of rape and other forms of sexual violence have emerged.
Your Excellency, this state of affairs is contrary to the African Union’s Agenda 2063 which is a vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, and the crucial goal of silencing all guns by 2020 in Africa. At least 81 people have been shot by the Zimbabwe National Army and the Zimbabwe Republic Police and have had to undergo surgery. Read the full letter to the African Union here: Letter to the AU Chairperson