Zim must sign UN Convention on Torture: EU

HARARE - The European Union (EU) has called on Zimbabwe to sign the UN Convention on Torture.

Aldo Dell’Ariccia, the EU ambassador, was speaking at the commemoration of International Human Rights Day.

“We appreciate that you have ratified a significant number of international treaties, however, the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhumane and Degrading Treatment or Punishment is still to be ratified and I think it would be very important if you do that,” Dell’Ariccia said.

Zimbabwe has refused to join the ranks of 147 nations who have signed-up to the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

These 147 nations include 47 out of 53 African states. Of the African states that have signed, 12 are from the 15 Sadc member states — Angola, Tanzania and Zimbabwe are the only three that have not signed.

So Zimbabwe continues to be shamefully out of step with the rest of the region and the continent.

The EU envoy also called for abolition of the death penalty.

“Let me finish by bringing to your attention the fact that EU considers the abolishment of death penalty as a factor that contributes to human dignity and progressive development of human rights,” he said.

“In this sense, we would like to encourage the government of Zimbabwe to ratify the second optional protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming at the abolishment of death penalty.”

Emmerson Mnangagwa, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister, in a speech read by his deputy Fortune Chasi, said sanctions were hampering the enjoyment of human rights in Zimbabwe.

“We need as a country to be economically stable for it is under a stable economic environment that human rights thrive,” Chasi said.

“Zimbabwe is currently facing debilitating economic sanctions and we will continue to ask that they be lifted to enable us to do much more for our people.

We therefore plead that serious considerations are given to the lifting of sanctions to enable a much better operating environment for human rights.”

He said his ministry will work to operationalise the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, the first body tasked with investigating rights abuses.

Comments (3)

DATS VERY TRUE MNANGAGWA, why do EU want Human Rights when we are suffering from the economic sanctions imposed on us by the same people who are preaching human rights. Companies are closing down, production is low and unemployment is going up and EU come and preach about Human rights, to hell with them. Evil Union (EU), lets not bow because we are suffering lets soldier on. A true warrior dies until to the end of a war.

hardlife - 18 December 2013

EU is preaching nonsense everyday...who allow them to torture Zimbabweans through their illegal sanctions? they must vomit their pride with immediate effect...can't that Zimbabweans are under torture under those illegal measures....EU lift your illegal sanctions on Zimbabweans...preach what you practise.........

silungisani ndlovu - 18 December 2013

Sanctions or no sanctions have nothing to do with human rights. Even if you are poor you respect human rights. Only if you have murderous instict in you do you abuse people torturing or killing them. Making someone rich will not remove that, so Mnangagwa is not telling the truth.

Edzai - 18 December 2013

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