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Campaigners for Human Rights

Press Statement on the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances

30 August 2020
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) joins the world, the local human rights community and Zimbabweans in commemorating International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances marked on 30 August each year.

The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance states that an enforced disappearance, which is a crime against humanity, occurs when:

"persons are arrested, detained or abducted against their will or otherwise deprived of their liberty by officials of different branches or levels of Government, or by organized groups or private individuals acting on behalf of, or with the support, direct or indirect, consent or acquiescence of the Government, followed by a refusal to disclose the fate or whereabouts of the persons concerned or a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of their liberty, which places such persons outside the protection of the law."

ZimRights notes with concern the growing frequency of enforced disappearances. There are many people that have not been accounted for among them Itai Dzamara from 2015, despite a high court order to the police to search for him, Patrick Nabanyana in 2000 and many others. ZimRights notes with concern that enforced disappearances are used as a tool to deal with dissent and create fear in communities.