Zimbabwe: Abduction

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 30th June 2020.

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Photo of Stephen Doughty Stephen Doughty Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Shadow Minister (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Government of Zimbabwe on allegations of maltreatment and abduction of opposition activists Cecilia Chimbiri, Netsai Marowa, and Joana Mamombe MP; and what recent assessment he has made of the political situation in that country.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

Holding answer received on 29 June 2020

As I said in the House on 11 May, I had been an optimist on Zimbabwe post-Mugabe, but things are bleak across the political, economic, social and humanitarian fronts.

The UK is particularly concerned about the challenging human rights situation. I spoke to the Zimbabwean Foreign Minister on 8 June and expressed my deep concern regarding recent reports of the abduction and torture of Cecilia Chimbiri, Netsai Marowa, and Joana Mamombe. I urged the Foreign Minister to ensure the Government of Zimbabwe makes concrete progress on human rights, including investigations into violations.

It is vital that the Zimbabwean authorities adhere to their international human rights obligations and respect their Constitution, which prohibits enforced disappearances and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. This was reiterated in a joint local statement issued on 20 May by the UK alongside other partners, including Ambassadors from the European Union, France, Germany and the United States of America. The UK will continue to monitor developments in Zimbabwe closely and call for the Government of Zimbabwe to uphold the rule of law and respect human rights.

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