Zimbabwe: Impunity enables more human rights violations

'Impunity has become the central problem in Zimbabwe where state and non-state actors commit widespread human rights violations without being brought to justice,' the organisation said.

'Unless the cycle of impunity can be broken, human rights abuses will continue unchecked and victims and their families will not see justice.'

Beyond the use of presidential amnesties, clemencies and indemnities the Zimbabwean authorities have employed a range of techniques to cover up state involvement in politically motivated violence and to prevent perpetrators of human rights violations from being brought to justice.

These include:

- the use of state-sponsored 'militia' to obscure the identification of the state's agents as the perpetrators of human rights violations;

- preventing human rights defenders and the independent media from investigating and publishing accounts of human rights violations;

- politically manipulating the police; - undermining the judicial system by eroding the independence of the judiciary and circumventing its effectiveness.

Amnesty International calls on the Zimbabwean authorities to bring an end to human rights violations perpetrated by state and non-state actors and to bring those responsible to justice.

'To break the cycle of impunity, the authorities in Zimbabwe must ensure conditions exist for the proper and impartial reporting and investigation of alleged human rights violations,' the human rights organisation added. 'There should be a clear and public signal given to the Zimbabwe police to abide by the highest standards of professionalism and respect for human rights.'

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