Harassment, intimidation & beating of opposition
African Union, SADC & South Africa mostly ignore electoral fraud
Protest this Wednesday at the Zimbabwe Embassy in London
London, UK – 30 July 2013
“The presidential and parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe will not be free or fair. Mugabe’s supporters have orchestrated voter registration irregularities, media bias and harassment, threats and the beating of opposition supporters. Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch confirm large-scale intimidation in the run-up to Wednesday’s poll,” said Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
“The independent Research and Advocacy Unit alleges that the voter’s roll includes around one million dead voters or people who have moved abroad and 100,000 people aged more than 100 years old. Sixty-three constituencies have more registered voters than inhabitants. Nearly one million people under 30 were still unregistered to vote at the start of this month.
“Mugabe controls all levers of power, from the election commission and the electoral roll to the media, police, judiciary, intelligence services and the military.
“Tragically, the African Union, SADC and South Africa are ignoring much of the evidence of industrial scale electoral violations that have been going on for months. This election looks like being a re-run of the rigged ballot in 2008,” he said.
Mr Tatchell has twice attempted a citizen’s arrest of President Mugabe on charges of torture – in 1999 in London and again in Brussels in 2001. In the latter attempt he was beaten unconscious by Mugabe’s henchmen.
To protest against the fraudulent elections, there will be a protest from 12 noon to 2pm on Wednesday 31July outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in The Strand, London WC2 (diagonally opposite Charing Cross mainline station): http://bit.ly/152h3WL
READ the Amnesty International report, Walk the Talk, which details how the police have conducted systematic raids on ngo offices, arbitrarily arrested human rights defenders and seized equipment to intimidate and disrupt the work of organizations carrying out election-related human rights work.
READ the Human Rights Watch report, The Elephant in the Room: Reforming the Security Sector Ahead of Zimbabwe’s Elections, on how the military and security forces in Zimbabwe have interfered in the country’s political and electoral affairs in support of President Robert Mugabe
It found that the Zimbabwe National Army has deployed soldiers across the country, intimidating, beating and abusing perceived supporters of the MDC and those critical of the government. At times, these soldiers have manipulated food distribution for partisan pro-Mugabe political advantage.
Opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has claimed that already 70,000 pro-MDC ballots, cast in early voting, have disappeared. He’s also criticised the leader of African Union observer team for playing down scale of election fraud.