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Activists push govt to end torture

The UN convention also calls for perpetrators of torture to be brought to account for their actions.
Lawyers, who attended a Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum workshop on Torture in Victoria Falls last week, said of human rights abuses that have taken place in the country, torture was one of the “most heinous” acts.

 

Human rights lawyer Archfold Rutanhira said by ratifying the convention, victims would be afforded an opportunity to seek redress through the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of torture.

“Enacting a law against torture or ratifying the UN Convention can achieve redress for torture victims,” said Rutanhira.
“It is an important step towards achieving restorative justice and eliminating all forms of torture.”

Abel Chikomo, the Director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum said it was necessary for the government to ratify the convention to ensure respect for human rights.

He alleged that government had not ratified the convention because it was determined to stifle dissent.

“We continue to call on the Zimbabwe government to stop security forces or security officials, agents, the police, intelligence from using torture as a way of extracting information or confessions from accused persons,” said Chikomo.

The police, army and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) agents have in the past been accused of torturing human rights activists and those opposed to President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF, especially during elections.

The workshop, attended by human rights lawyers and MPs, was held under the theme “Working towards the prohibition of torture in Zimbabwe: For the protection of the inherent dignity of the human person.”

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