rights

Zimbabwe Urged to End Persecution of NGO

Civil Society organisations, including Global Witness, Human Rights Watch, and Partnership Africa Canada, have condemned the state-sponsored harassment and intimidation of a Zimbabwean NGO, the Centre for Research and Development (CRD).

Late last month, the home of CRD director, Farai Maguwu, was raided by Zimbabwean Central Intelligence Organisation agents. They confiscated documents and equipment, and arrested Maguwu's nephew.

South Africa Warned on Xenophobia

A group of eminent global leaders called the ‘Elders’ says xenophobia may erupt in South Africa after the FIFA World Cup as jobs start becoming scarcer.

Former Ireland president, Mary Robinson, points out that, "I think everyone recognises that with having the World Cup in South Africa there are concerns."

Robinson says that, "We are more worried after the World Cup, the possibilities of xenophobia... construction jobs fall away and people, especially from Zimbabwe, will be looking for jobs.”

African States Criticised Over Human Rights Violations

Amnesty International says the failure of African states to hold violators of human rights accountable for their actions has been pin-pointed as a major problem across the continent.

In its annual report, Amnesty says that the lack of accountability for abuses by local and central authorities, law enforcement agencies, armed groups and corporate actors continue to be a systemic problem.

Zimbabwean Police Arrest Gay Activists

The Zimbabwean police have arrested two members of a gay organisation after they put up a letter in their office from former San Francisco mayor, Willie Lewis Brown, criticising Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe’s opposition to homosexuality.

Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe employees, Ellen Chadehama and Ingatius Mhambi, were arrested on allegations under Zimbabwe’s censorship laws.

Celebrating Africa Day: Remembering Our Commitment to ‘Never Again’

On 25 May, the continent, along with Africans all over the world, celebrated Africa Day. In most corners, it is an opportunity to celebrate the diversity and richness of African culture. In South Africa, Africa Day is taking on special significance as the nation prepares to ‘welcome the world’ to the FIFA World Cup.

HRW Calls for the Strengthening of ICC

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) says the member states of the International Criminal Court (ICC) should use the upcoming review conference in Uganda to push forward justice for the worst international crimes.

In its 102-page report entitled, 'Making Kampala Count: Advancing the Global Fight Against Impunity at the ICC Review Conference', the rights body is also calling on member states to use preparations, conference discussions and pledges of greater support for the ICC to increase the likelihood that the most serious perpetrators will be held to account.

Zimbabweans Flock to SA for Asylum – MSF

As many as 300 Zimbabweans are arriving in South Africa a day to apply for asylum at Musina in Limpopo, according to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

MSF head of mission, Mickael le Paih, points out that many of the migrants are too poor to afford a passport which costs as much as R1 100 to acquire, adding that they then have to attempt to cross the border illegally.

Le Paih points out that, while the Department of Home Affairs promised a year ago create a special dispensation permit to ease the process for migrants crossing the border.

Human Rights Violations Worry NGOs

NGOs drawn from across the continent and beyond have expressed worry over the persistent violations of fundamental rights with impunity in Africa. This ranged from extra judicial killings, torture; enforce disappearance, unfair trail among others.

The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS), executive director, Hanna Forster, said the event manifests commitment to confront the challenges faced, and the passion to work together to promote and protect human rights and democracy in Africa.

SWC Could Increase Child Labour – UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says the FIFA World Cup could see an increase in child labour linked to the ‘economic bonanza’ that will accompany it.

UNICEF child labour specialist, Aida Girma, points out that, “There is little experience in organising major international sporting events in settings where the number of poor and vulnerable children is so high.”

Gunmen Kill Rights Activists in Mexico

Two human rights activists have been shot and killed in an ambush in southern Mexico as they tried to deliver food and supplies to a town being harassed by armed groups.

Beatriz Carino, the Mexican director of the rights group CACTUS, and Finnish human rights observer, Jyri Antero Jaakkola, died when gunmen attacked a convoy of some 30 rights workers.

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