World
African leaders urged to address rights at summit
Publish Date: Aug 14, 2014
African leaders urged to address rights at summit
Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe. (AFP)
  • mail
  • img
newvision

HARARE - Rights groups have urged southern African countries to address abuses and uphold their people's freedom ahead of a meeting of regional heads of state in Zimbabwe next week.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights deplored "serious human rights concerns" in Angola, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, in a joint statement Thursday.

Leaders from the 15-member Southern African Development Community (SADC) will hold their annual meeting in the resort town of Victoria Falls on Sunday and Monday, with Zimbabwe as chair.

"SADC has been criticised for its laxity on making human rights compliance within its member states a priority," the rights groups said.

They accused Zimbabwe of dragging its feet to prosecute perpetrators of political violence in past elections, and denounced secrecy around mining rights and the country's lucrative diamond fields.

Angola and Swaziland regularly crack down on protests and government criticism and stifle media reporting on abuses, according to the statement.

Human rights "has steadily declined" in Zambia since President Michael Sata came to power in 2011, and the state has abused laws to persecute opposition members as well as homosexuals, the groups said.

Malawi should incorporate international human rights in its national legislation and protect sexual minorities, they added.

"SADC should strive to create conditions for all to enjoy their economic, social, civic and political rights," said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International Southern Africa director.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Catholic Church says withdrawing support for Burundi elections
Burundi's influential Catholic Church said Thursday it was withdrawing support for upcoming elections in the crisis-hit country, dealing a fresh blow to President Pierre Nkurunziza's controversial bid to run for a third term....
Tibetan mother burns herself to death in China
A Tibetan mother-of-two burned herself to death to highlight repression in the Chinese Himalayan region, the second such fiery protest in eight days....
Number of hungry in world falls below 800 million: UN
The number of hungry people around the world has dropped below 800 million for the first time since the UN started counting, the Food and Agriculture Organisation said in an annual report on Wednesday....
Probe after Air France plane narrowly misses mountain
French accident investigators have opened an inquiry into a near accident involving an Air France Boeing 777 which narrowly missed central Africa's highest mountain with 37 people on board....
S. Korea, US, Japan envoys discuss N. Korea nuclear concerns
Nuclear envoys from the three nations met, seeking a way forward to revive long-stalled, six-party talks with North Korea on its nuclear weapons programme....
Kenya hunts Al-Shabaab after Garissa ambush
KENYAN police revealed they were engaged in a major security operation against Al-Shabaab militants...
Should medical students be subjected to pre-admission exams?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter