Top UN envoy to investigate Zim rights violations

Staff Writer

THE United Nations has dispatched its Special Rapporteur, Alena Douhan to investigate allegations of gross human rights violations being levelled against Zimbabwe.

The ten days long visit which kicks off on October 18 2021 was necessitated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s invitation in a bid to downplay the exaggerative negative reports on human rights abuses dogging his administration.

“Following an invitation of the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ), the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, Douhan,  will undertake an official visit to country from 18 to 28 October 2021.

“The Special Rapporteur and her team will collect information and hold a series of meetings with GoZ authorities, civil society organizations, private sector and opposition. The Special Rapporteur will present a public report on the country visit to the United Nations Human Rights Council during its 51st Session in September 2022,” UN said in an update .

Douhan has since begun  seeking the views of all relevant stakeholders to inform the thematic and geographical focus of the visit and subsequent reporting under a strict pledge of confidentiality.

“Neither you nor your organisation will be identified, and your response will not be attributed to you or your organization, under any circumstances.Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: ohchr-ucm@un.org and laura.pardo@un.org,” said the global humanitarian agency .

March 24 2017, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 34/13 on human rights and unilateral coercive measures which stresses that unilateral coercive measures and legislation are contrary to international law, international humanitarian law.

The Charter and the norms and principles governing peaceful relations among States, and highlights that on long-term, these measures may result in social problems and raise humanitarian concerns in the States targeted.

Highlighting the deep-rooted problems and grievances within the international system and in order to ensure multilateralism, mutual respect and the peaceful settlement of disputes, the Human Rights Council decided to create the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights.

“The purpose of the mission is to examine, in the spirit of co-operation and dialogue, whether and to what extent the adoption, maintenance or implementation of unilateral sanctions impedes the full realisation of the rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments,” the UN said in an update.

The Special Rapporteur proposes to meet with various representatives of the Government of Zimbabwe. She will also have private meetings with United Nations agencies present in Zimbabwe, as well as international organizations, regional organizations, international financial institutions, the national human rights institution, and representatives of the diplomatic community present in Harare.


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