The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) is deeply concerned about the alleged abduction of a Harare based Freelance Journalist and human rights activist, Mr Itai Dzamara on Monday, 9 March, 2015.
As a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) the Commission’s primary function is to protect, promote and enforce human rights for the attainment of human dignity.
The disappearance of Mr Dzamara through the alleged abduction by ‘persons yet unknown’ presents numerous human rights violations that include the right to personal liberty as enshrined in Section 49 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe which states that, “Every person has a right to personal liberty, which includes the right not to be deprived of their liberty arbitrarily or without just cause”. An abduction is a violation of someone’s liberty.
Furthermore, Section 51 of the Constitution guarantees the right to human dignity. It states that, “Every person has inherent dignity in their private and public life, and the right to have that dignity respected and promoted.”
The Constitution also guarantees freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Section 53 states that, “No person may be subjected to physical or psychological torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. The alleged abduction of Mr Dzamara therefore violates fundamental rights which are enshrined in the Constitution.
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission notes that the matter is being investigated by the Zimbabwe Republic Police. The Commission is further encouraged by the condemnation of this “barbaric” act by the Acting President, Honourable Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The Commission therefore urges the State Security apparatus, particularly the Police, to take all the necessary steps and leave no stone unturned to ensure the safe return of Mr Dzamara. It also urges the Police to arrest the perpetrators of these human rights violations which are grounded in criminal activity of alleged abduction.
The Commission also exhorts the National Prosecuting Authority to hold accountable the perpetrators of such human rights violations.
Furthermore, the Commission expects the Judiciary to expeditiously attend to the restoration of Mr Dzamara’s fundamental rights once the matter is before the Courts.
The Commission remains committed to ensuring that the human rights of all citizens are respected.
For more information please contact:
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission
3 Elcombe Rd
Tel: 04 – 700705/ 700710 or 700533