The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (the Forum) has approached the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) imploring the human rights body to probe the country’s deteriorating human rights record. In a communication filed with the Commission on 2 March 2022, the grouping of 22 civic groups said the Zimbabwean government has violated the African Charter, particularly regarding the right to life, torture, cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of citizens. The right to security and freedom from arbitrary detention and the right to participate freely in government are some of the violations Zimbabwe was accused of. The Forum was cited as the first applicant and Peter Magombeyi, a medical doctor who was tortured into exile by the government in 2019, as the second. The applicants want the continental body to make findings and recommendations that victims of such violations be compensated and that an independent regional forum is established to investigate the violations.
Zimbabwe, the Forum wrote, should also criminalise torture and domesticate the International Convention on Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearances. Officials from the Commission and the United Nations should also be allowed to come into the country to investigate cases of violations.