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Petition on Zimbabwe from NGOs in Botswana

12 August 2005

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Recommendations for action on Zimbabwe

Ditshwanelo - The Botswana Centre for Human Rights convened a Focus Seminar on Zimbabwe on 4 August 2005, which provided members of Zimbabwe's civil society and churches with an opportunity to inform the meeting about their experiences in Zimbabwe and their views on the human rights situation in the country. The Seminar was attended by representatives of the Botswana Government, Diplomatic Missions to Botswana, Botswana civil society, churches and the media. The Focus Seminar raised many issues regarding human rights and the rule of law in Zimbabwe.

The ensuing discussion and the insights given by those with first hand experiences of the current crisis, have formed the basis of these recommendations. We note with concern the continuing breaches of human rights and the Zimbabwean government's attempts to undermine the right to peaceful protest.

We, the undersigned Non-Governmental Organisations and Civil Society Institutions, wish to draw the attention of the leaders of the SADC Governments to their stated objectives for the SADC region. According to its own profile, the SADC countries have adopted a framework of cooperation based on the objectives of 'democracy and good governance, respect for the rule of law, the guarantee of human rights, popular participation and the alleviation of poverty' amongst others. Further, Article 2(2)(g) of the SADC Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation sets out the objective of it's members to 'promote the development of democratic institutions and practices within the territories of State Parties and encourage the observance of Human Rights as provided for in the Charters and Conventions of the Organisation of African Unity and the United Nations'.

The following set out Zimbabwe's grave violations of these SADC objectives and we urge the leaders of the SADC region to voice their opposition to their increasing violation by the Government.

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