Press Releases
23 Injured, 7 arrested, 4 Abducted as SADC Leaders meet PDF Print E-mail

Harare demonstration broken up as SADC leaders meet – 27th October 2008

Below is a report from our partner organisation, Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR), who held a demostration in Harare today as the SADC leaders met.

23 Injured, 7 arrested, 4 Abducted after a ROHR Demonstration

23 men and women have been hospitalised and seven arrested after ROHR Zimbabwe demonstrated in Harare today. Four people are missing after having been reportedly abducted by Zanu PF operatives. The four are Moses Mutasa from Hatfield, Tinei Tinarwo from Glen Norah, Mr Ncube from Dzivarasekwa and Adam Muchiriri from Hatfield.

More than 200 ROHR activists participated in demonstrations that brought business to a standstill in Harare today between 1100hrs and 1200hrs. The protesters peacefully marched in the streets heading towards the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC), the venue for this week’s SADC meeting that has been attended by SADC Heads of State. The SADC meeting marks yet another attempt by the regional body to push for the long awaited consensus on the current power sharing talks.

The peaceful protest was violently crashed by the Zimbabwe Republic Police, a few streets away from the venue, along Robert Mugabe road corner Kaguvi Street. Police in full riot gear fired teargas at the public causing stampedes and confusion in the crowded city. By 1200hrs 7 people had been arrested.

Around 1200hrs our members reported that 1 person was abducted by suspected Zanu PF operatives along Robert Mugabe Road who used an unmarked Zanu PF Nissan double cab truck. The other three people were abducted by youths in a Nissan single cab truck believed to be owned by Elliot Manyika, the Zanu PF political commissar. Eliot Manyika, who was driving the car, instructed the youths to beat up people.

On 10 October 2008 ROHR Zimbabwe launched the Demand for Democracy and Justice Campaign with a landmark protest in Harare. The main thrust of the campaign is to push for early free and fair elections to be held in a peaceful environment in Zimbabwe under United Nations supervision.

Stop bankrolling Mugabe’s friends. PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 07 October 2008 19:19

Zimbabweans in UK tell EU: “Stop bankrolling Mugabe’s friends.”

European Union countries have been urged to suspend government-to-government aid to members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) because of their failure to help the desperate people of Zimbabwe.

On Saturday, 11th October, Glenys Kinnock MEP will attend the Zimbabwe Vigil outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London to accept a petition signed by thousands of people who have passed by the Vigil in the Strand. Mrs Kinnock is Co-President of the African, Caribbean and Pacific / EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and has taken a close interest in the situation in Zimbabwe.

The event marks the 6th anniversary of the Vigil, which has been held outside the Embassy every Saturday since 12th October 20002 in protest against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. It has been described by the Observer as the largest regular demonstration in London.

The Beijing Olympics ‘One Dream, One Nightmare' PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 05 August 2008 00:00
Media advisory – The Beijing Olympics ‘One Dream, One Nightmare'

Four countries trashed by China are to stage a joint demonstration outside the Chinese Embassy in London on Friday 8 th August to mark the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing ,

Representatives of Burma , Sudan , Tibet and Zimbabwe will lay flowers outside the Embassy in mourning for the deaths of millions of victims of dictators supported by China .

The demonstration will star t at 10 am and there will be a media presentation at 11 am when the Zimbabwean, Burmese and Sudanese dictators will be seen bowing down to a figure representing China . The realistic masks used were widely shown at the Europe / Africa summit in Lisbon last December.

The link is that all four countries are victims of China 's use of its veto in the UN Security Council to protect human rights abusers.

The demonstration will culminate at 13.08 when the Tibetan flag will be raised, accompanied by the national anthems of the four countries. We will be joined by the Falun Gong who have been protesting in support of freedom outside the Chinese Embassy for many years.

Zimbabweans say move World Cup from South Africa PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 08 July 2008 20:22
The Zimbabwe Vigil, a London-based protest group, has launched a campaign to have the 2010 Football World Cup moved from South Africa because of growing instability in the region. It says FIFA must take action to ensure the safety of teams and their supporters.

The Vigil has been demonstrating outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London every Saturday since 2002 in protest at human rights abuses by the Mugabe regime. It is gathering signatures for a petition to FIFA from the thousands of people passing the Embassy. It says the situation in South Africa will be so bad because of the implosion of Zimbabwe that the World Cup should be moved.

The Vigil is also running a petition calling on European Union governments to suspend aid to governments of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) because they have failed to hold Zimbabwe to account. It wants this money to be used instead to finance refugee camps in countries neighbouring Zimbabwe to provide a refuge for Zimbabweans forced to flee because of hunger, violence and the need for medical attention safe from xenophobic violence.

Vigil Co-ordinator Dumi Tutani said ‘we find it repugnant, for instance, that British taxpayers' money should go to the Malawi government. More than £60 million a year goes to Malawi whose President, Bingu Wa Mutharika, has been given a farm in Zimbabwe and has named a highway after President Mugabe'.

Text of the Petitions

• “ A Petition to the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA)

With the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe and the likelihood of unrest spreading to South Africa we call upon FIFA to move the 2010 World Cup from South Africa to a safer venue. By the time the World Cup takes place President Mbeki's support of the Mugabe regime will have made the whole region unsafe because millions more refugees will flee Zimbabwe prompting further xenophobic violence in neighbouring countries. FIFA must ensure that World Cup teams and their supporters are not endangered.”

• “A Petition to European Union Governments

We record our dismay at the failure of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to help the desperate people of Zimbabwe at their time of trial. We urge the UK government and the European Union in general to suspend government to government aid to all 14 SADC countries until they abide by their joint commitment to uphold human rights in the region. We suggest that the money should instead be used to feed the star ving in Zimbabwe .”

For further information, contact: Rose Benton (07970 996 003, 07932 193 467), Dumi Tutani (07960 039 775) and Ephraim Tapa (07940 793 090).

Zimbabweans in London mourn the Death of Democracy PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 23 June 2008 20:35
Zimbabweans in London mourn the Death of Democracy

Zimbabwean exiles are to stage demonstrations in London on Friday 27 th June outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, the South African High Commission and the Mandela concert in Hyde Park . The demonstrations follow the decision by the Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to pull out of Friday's Presidential run-off because of the violence and vote rigging by the Mugabe regime.

The London demonstrators will mark the death of democracy in Zimbabwe with a ballot box in the shape of a coffin on display outside the Embassy. The coffin will be carried to the nearby South African High Commission containing a petition calling on President Mbeki to stop supporting Mugabe. The petition has been signed by many hundreds of people from all over the world passing by the Zimbabwe Vigil, which has been protesting outside the Embassy in London for the past six years in support of democracy in Zimbabwe .

Zimbabwean demonstrators will also be present at Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park on Friday to urge Nelson Mandela to speak out about the situation in Zimbabwe . Mr Mandela will be attending a concert at the Parade Ground in Hyde Park to mark his 90 th Birthday.

•  Protest outside Zimbabwe Embassy – Friday 27 th June from 10 am to 4 pm. Ex-President Mugabe or someone looking very much like him will be there.

•  South African High Commission from 1-2 pm – presentation of the following petition: “A petition to President Mbeki of South Africa . Exiled Zimbabweans and supporters urge you to stop supporting Mugabe and allow a peaceful transfer of power from the military regime to the Zimbabwean people. Our blood is at your door.”

•  After the Embassy demonstration we will move to Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park to ask Mandela to speak out against Mugabe. The concert star ts at 6.30 pm .

•  For further information, contact: Rose Benton (07970 996 003, 07932 193 467), Dumi Tutani (07960 039 775) and Ephraim Tapa (07940 793 090).

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