Zimbabwe: cruel denial of travel for medical treatment puts medical union leader's health at risk
In response to the authorities’ failure to allow Dr. Peter Magombeyi to travel to seek medical attention following his abduction and the deterioration of his health, Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Southern Africa said:
“Not allowing Dr. Magombeyi to travel to seek medical treatment outside Zimbabwe is a cruel denial that puts his health at risk.
“That anyone can be treated this way by the state is unbelievable – and is made worse by the fact that he’s already faced a terrible ordeal and abduction. This ill-treatment at the hands of the authorities is now endangering his health.
“Dr. Magombeyi needs urgent medical treatment. The longer he stays in Zimbabwe, the more his health deteriorates. Zimbabwean authorities must immediately allow him to travel wherever he wants to seek medical treatment.”
Dr. Peter Magombeyi is the acting president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA). He was abducted on the night of 14 September from his house by three armed men suspected to be state agents and released after five days. He has been instrumental in fighting for the human rights and improved working conditions of Zimbabwean doctors, including leading recent wage increase talks which collapsed, leading to an imminent strike.
Riot police were deployed in Harare on 24 September to prevent Dr. Magombeyi from leaving the country in defiance of a High Court order that allowed him to go and seek medical assistance out of the country. Police blocked him from leaving the hospital, preventing him from travelling abroad after his health deteriorated following his abduction.