Zimbabwe’s Assault on LGBTI Group Indicative of Larger, Worrisome Trend

The following blog post by RFK Partners for Human Rights Advocacy Officer Jeffrey Smith appeared yesterday in the Huffington Post:

With a constitutional referendum and historic elections looming in Zimbabwe, one might assume that those in power would seek to burnish their deficient democratic credentials. Instead, the Government of National Unity (GNU), largely dominated by President Robert Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), has doubled down, intensifying their assault on human rights defenders and civil society writ large.

The widespread crackdown comes as no surprise to those who have followed the plight of Zimbabwe. President Mugabe and ZANU-PF have routinely resorted to thuggish violence and intimidation during the run-up to national political events, particularly since 2000. It was during this period that the newly-formed Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), led by trade unionist and current Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, rallied voters to reject a state-sponsored constitution, handing Mugabe his first electoral defeat since he came to power in 1980.

Mugabe responded with vengeance, enacting a range of repressive pieces of legislation, including the Private Voluntary Organization (PVO) Act, which imposes onerous funding and registration restrictions on nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). When existing legislation has failed to deter legitimate democratic activity, the Zimbabwe Republic Police Force (ZRP) has enthusiastically stepped to the fore, crushing dissent with impunity. Those who are critical of the status quo or dare question Mugabe’s dictatorial directives are branded “enemies of the state” and “agents of regime change,” thereby legitimizing the brutal tactics employed by the ZRP. A frequent target of this ire has been Zimbabwe’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) community. Continue Reading

0 Responses to “Zimbabwe’s Assault on LGBTI Group Indicative of Larger, Worrisome Trend”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Stay Informed

Subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 219 other followers

Follow us on Twitter

Categories


%d bloggers like this: