Southern Africa Report and Zimbabwe Campaign Actions
Southern Africa is dominated by inequality. The majority of people live in extreme poverty, and the region has the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the world, a statistic strongly connected to the vulnerability of women to violence and sexual exploitation.
Despite the recent power sharing agreement in Zimbabwe, there is no sign of an end to the country's long-standing culture of impunity, and human rights defenders remain at risk. Meanwhile, Botswana is considered a model of good governance, with a positive human rights record by regional standards, and South Africa is evolving into a stable, multi-party democracy.
People in Zimbabwe and Angola are at risk of large scale forced evictions. There are concerns about the use of force by police in Swaziland, South Africa, Angola and Mozambique. In South Africa, women are discriminated against in accessing adequate treatment for HIV/AIDS, the subject of a major Amnesty campaign in the region.
Zimbabwe Women Beaten and Torchered: The majority of human rights activists in Zimbabwe are women. Since 2005, hundreds of women protesters have been arrested and detained for engaging in peaceful protests. http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AFR46/017/2007
Zimbabwe: Whatever election date, human rights monitors vital
President Mugabe has announced that Zimbabwe will hold elections on 31 July.
When the last elections were held - in 2008 - a wave of politically motivated violence spread across the country after the first round of polling. More than 200 people were killed, 10,000 injured and 28,000 forced to flee their homes.
Update 17 June: The South African Development Community has recommended that the election date be pushed back to 14 August. Zimbabwe’s constitutional court will now decide the final date for election.
Who's at risk?
Many of those targeted in 2008 were human rights defenders, who play a crucial role in exposing abuses and supporting victims of violations.
In one such case, Jestina Mukoko was abducted by an armed group thought to be state security agents. She was tortured and held in secret for three weeks and later charged with attempting to overthrow the government.
Jestina is Director of The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), a human rights monitoring organisation that had issued many reports criticising the election-related violence.
With Zimbabwe due to go to the polls again on 31 July we are determined to avoid another wave of brutality. But the attacks have already begun. https://action.amnesty.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1194&ea.campaign.id=21019#act