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29 November 2005
Chilling Zimbabwe Footage shocks international parliamentarianshuman rights situation in Zimbabwe

Parliamentarians from the African, Caribbean and Pacific nations and the European Union on Saturday saw chilling footage of the devastation caused in Zimbabwe by the brutal clearances of poor urban districts started in May this year.

The meeting in Edinburgh was organised by two human rights groups, Zimbabwe Watch and the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, to draw attention of parliamentarians attending the ACP / EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly to the crisis in Zimbabwe. The Joint Parliamentary Assembly is meeting in Edinburgh November 21 to 24 .

“Operation Murambatsvina (Operation Remove the Filth) is a man made national disaster, and should be declared as such,” said Pondai Bamu, a researcher with the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, who came from Zimbabwe for the meeting.

Speakers urged the ACP EU JPA to press President Mugabe’s administration to allow external humanitarian aid to the tens of thousands of victims living in inhuman conditions, often in the open without clean water or food 5 months after the operation. This operation was severely criticised by the United Nations and attracted criticism worldwide.

British member of the European Parliament Glenys Kinnock said the Zimbabwe authorities have employed the favourite tactic of authoritarian regimes, “One of the ways of creating fear is to move people and dump them in the middle of nowhere, making everyone feeling demoralised, destabilised and nervous.”

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum consists of 17 human rights organisations in Zimbabwe: www.hrforumzim.com

Zimbabwe Watch is a consortium of Dutch NGO's concerned with the current situation in Zimbabwe: www.zimbabwewatch.org

For further information contact:
Pascal Richard, Coordinator, Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum: +31-20-520 62 10


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