FORUM TAKES POLICE HEAD-ON IN EXTRA- JUDICIAL KILLING CASE The Forum has decided to take the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) head-on in a case of extra-judicial killing in which the police have been refusing to release the report of its investigations into circumstances leading to extra-judicial killing of the late Nyasha Dewa. Nyasha Dewa was shot and killed in cold blood by the Police during the #ZimShutDown. Efforts by Dewa’s family to understand the cause of their relative’s shooting by the police have not received any positive feedback. In May 2019, the Forum had written to the police giving them the last opportunity to produce the results of their investigations and name the police officer responsible for the shooting. With no positive response, the Forum filed a matter at the High Court in Masvingo seeking an order to have the police compelled to release the results of their investigations as well as the post-mortem results. The matter is yet to be set down. GOVERNMENT URGED TO CRIMINALISE TORTURE Just last week we commemorated 26 June, the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The Forum and its members used the occasion of this day to call on the Government of Zimbabwe to take steps to criminalise torture in Zimbabwe. In a statement released to commemorate the day, the Forum and ZimRights expressed concern that torture in Zimbabwe continues to be a feature that is used by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA). This was evidenced by the cases of torture documented during 1 August 2018 post-election violence and the ZimShutDown Atrocities in January 2018. During the January shutdown, the Forum documented 586 cases of torture and assaults. See the 26 June statement by the Forum and ZimRights here. The 26 June commemorations were held on 29 June 2019 in Entumbane in Bulawayo. See here for a report on the commemorations. FOCUS ON THE RIGHTS OF PEOPLE IN CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES The Forum is catalysing efforts towards the realisation of human rights for all, including prisoners. On 6 June 2019, the Forum partnered with ZACRO in engaging various stakeholders at a function in Harare. This was a follow-up to the launch of the 2018 report, “Rights Behind Bars: A Study of Prison Conditions in Zimbabwe”. The function was attended by members of civil society as well as representatives from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, the Gender Commission, the Ministry of Justice and the Parole Board of Zimbabwe. The study is based on a study of prisons and conditions of detention carried out by the Forum in partnership with ZACRO with a focus on the living conditions, particularly the socio-economic rights of prisoners. The report revealed the appalling living conditions in prisons which fall short of international standards. This meeting provided an interface for stakeholders to discuss ways to improve these conditions in line with the new prison system regime introduced by the 2013 Constitution. See event report here. HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION COMES TO GWANDA AND GOKWE Many people fail to claim their rights because of a lack of knowledge. To empower marginalised communities, in June, the Forum teamed up with Legal Resources Foundation and held three mobile human rights clinics in rural Gwanda and Gokwe as well as urban Kariba. This is an effort to promote citizen awareness of their rights. Through these platforms, the Forum engaged with about two hundred people on basic human rights, the remedies available in cases of violations and gave free legal advice and psycho-social support. Participants expressed concern over the level of police brutality in their communities and were advised of the Forum’s Anti-Impunity campaign, which is an effort to provide legal support to victims of organised violence and torture by the security services. For the full report of the Gwanda meeting, follow this link here.

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