ON June 27 the Zimbabwe Independent published an article titled “Govt blocks Geneva-based parliamentary union tour”.
On behalf of the Committee on the Human Right
s of Parliamentarians of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, I wish to make the following clarification as regards the article.
It is not correct that the on-site mission of the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians initially planned to take place from June 23-27 was blocked by the government. The mission was postponed at the request of the parliament to enable it to schedule the meetings with the Zimbabwe authorities as requested by the committee.
Negotiations to determine a mutually convenient date are under way. The IPU officer in charge of human rights informed the journalist who signed the article accordingly in an e-mail message of June 26.
Contrary to what is stated in the article, the IPU has not identified 19 MPs from the MDC as being the target of arbitrary arrests, detention and harassment. In accordance with its procedure, the committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians may act solely upon complaints referred to it by sources qualified under its procedure.
It has no competence to identify MPs, either in Zimbabwe or elsewhere, as being the target of arbitrary actions, and to examine their cases. The committee acts upon complaints only and, through a procedure based on dialogue with the authorities of the countries concerned, seeks to obtain a settlement of the cases referred to it which is in line with national and applicable in international human rights law.
Anders B Johnsson,