‘Govt has ignored calls to stop torture’

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BY METHEMBE SIBANDA
ZIMBABWE has adopted only 127 out of 264 recommendations made during the third cycle  of Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process on January 26 and ignored recommendations on torture and other human rights abuses.

The country reportedly only adopted recommendations on social economic justice.

Speaking during a UPR review meeting hosted by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum yesterday, Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe programmes manager Mercy Jaravani said government rejected recommendations on amendments to the Freedom of Information Act and ending impunity and human rights violations, among others.

Jaravani said government had deferred implementation of the United Nations (UN) Convention Against Torture and Protection of all Persons Against Forced Disappearance.

“The top 11 deferred recommendations by the government include the adoption of necessary measures to guarantee the protection of journalists and human rights defenders. The government also deferred amending laws that guarantee the protection of civic space,” Jaravani said.

“The government also deferred the UN Convention Against Torture, Protection of all Persons Against Forced Disappearance, providing redress to victims of torture as well as the full implementation of the recommendations of the Motlanthe Commission of Inquiry.”

She said the government made a commitment to support 48% of the 264 recommendations, with the approved recommendations centred on socio-economic rights.

“Government made a commitment to address increasing measures to mitigate change and over relying on climate-sensitive sectors as key to reducing the country’s vulnerability, to provide citizens with birth certificates and national identity cards in order to ensure access to education, government services, voter roll and many more,” Jaravani said.

National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations regional co-ordinator Charity Terera said the UPR process was not understood by citizens, and challenged civic groups to engage in awareness campaigns.

The government will announce its position on the Third UPR process between June and July this year before the sitting of the Human Rights Council.

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