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Abductions A Sign Of Shrinking Democratic Space: CSOs

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition has expressed great concern over continued cases of abductions and torture in the country.

In a statement the umbrella body of civic society organisations said the abduction and torture were a sign of shrinking democratic space.

“The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is greatly concerned with continued cases of abductions, torture, beatings and inhumane treatment of civic and political activists. The recent abduction, torture, inhumane treatment of three MDC Alliance activists, Harare West Legislator Hon. Joana Mamombe, MDC Youth Vice Chairperson Cecilia Chimbiri and Deputy Organising Secretary Netsai Marova points to shrinking democratic space,” reads the statement.

The coalition said the country has a disturbing record of disappearance and torture of political activists similar to the Mugabe era.

“Zimbabwe has a disturbing record of enforced disappearances of opposition and civic society activists which happen in almost similar fashion. Reports indicate that most are being abducted by masked and heavily armed men who torture them and later dump them in the middle of nowhere.  This is reminiscent of the Mugabe era and bears testimony to the fact that Zimbabwe remains stuck in the dark past.”

The civic society organisations demanded an end to torture, disappearances and decriminalization of civic society work and political activism.

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“We demand an end to torture, abductions and enforced disappearances, murder, rape and maiming of civilians by the military and state security agents. Decriminalization of civil society work, political activism as well as union leaders and an end to arbitrary arrests. Respect for fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution including freedom of expression, freedom of association as well as the right to protest peacefully among other rights.” said the coalition

Zimbabwe has a history of political disappearance, abductions and torture and in 2015 journalist-cum activist Itai Dzamara was abducted and has never been seen to date.

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