By Peter Bolder|
The European parliament has demanded that Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe intensify the search for missing political activist Itai Dzamara.
In a strongly worded resolution passed in Strassbourg Thursday, the EU legislators hinted that a €234 million aid package to Zimbabwe, approved in November 2004, could be withdrawn if Harare continued ignoring a High Court order to search for the Occupy Africa Unity Square leader.
Dzamara was abducted by five men identified as state security agents on 9 March in Glen View, Harare and has been missing ever since.
The resolution said the EU “strongly condemns the forced disappearance of human rights defender Itai Dzamara and calls for his immediate and unconditional release”.
It also “urges the Zimbabwean government and President Mugabe to comply with their international obligations and the provisions of international treaties that have been signed by Zimbabwe and that guarantee respect for the rule of law and fulfilment of civil and political rights”.
The European parliament also urged the Zimbabwean government to protect Dzamara’s wife Sheffra after she reported in early April that she was under surveillance from unidentified people.
“The situation in Zimbabwe as regards human rights is worsening, and harassment and human rights abuses against human rights defenders, journalists and members of civil society in Zimbabwe are continuously reported,” the EU resolution said.
It also castigated the authorities for refusing to search for Dzamara, who was kidnapped two days after addressing an MDC rally and calling on youths to engage in street protests demanding Mugabe’s resignation. In November 2014, Dzamara was handcuffed and beaten unconscious by 20 anti-riot police officers but no action was taken to reprimand them.
“High Court order has been ignored by the authorities responsible for acting upon it, and the state authorities have yet to comply with this ruling,” said the resolution.
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