Researched and compiled by the Refugee Documentation Centre of Ireland
on 8 April 2011
Treatment of the MDC in Zimbabwe
A report released in March 2011 by Zimonline notes that:
“Scores of other leaders and activists of the MDC-T and its civil society allies are either being held in jail or facing charges that the former opposition party says are trumped up and an attempt to destroy its structures ahead of a key constitution referendum later this year and elections that should follow the plebiscite” (Zimonline (11 March 2011) Zim govt in danger: Tsvangirai).
In March 2011 Voice of America notes in a report that:
“Human rights groups estimate that supporters of President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU- PF party have assaulted at least 80 MDC supporters so far this year. And, there have been at least 80 arrests of people loyal to the MDC in the last three weeks” (Voice of America (10 March 2011) MDC Energy Minister Arrested in Zimbabwe).
In March 2011 a report issued by Human Rights Watch notes:
“Members of the security forces, the former ruling party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), and groups allied to ZANU-PF continue to commit human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests and abductions, beatings, torture, and killings of members and supporters of the former opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)…” (Human Rights Watch (8 March 2011) Perpetual Fear, Impunity and Cycles of Violence in Zimbabwe,p.3).
Voice of America in February 2011 notes:
“South African mediators travel to Zimbabwe in the next few days amidst reports of increasing political violence and selective arrests in the country. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says security forces are violating their national mandate, and President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF blocks reconstruction of Zimbabwe. The Movement for Democratic Change, MDC, says that since the start of the year its supporters and civil society activists are being arrested on spurious charges as part of an increased harassment campaign against the party. Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights says that it is currently dealing with more than 30 cases” (Voice of America (18 February 2011) Rising Political Violence Reported in Zimbabwe).
A report published in February 2011 by Amnesty International states:
“In recent weeks, supporters of President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party in Harare have targeted perceived supporters of the MDC-T formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, with violence with the tacit approval of the police” (Amnesty International (11 February 2011) Zimbabwe: Urgent need for security sector reform to stem human rights abuses).
The Zimbabwean Human Rights NGO Forum in February 2011 reports that:
“It has been reported that ZANU-PF youths are moving around assaulting perceived and known MDC supporters” (Zimbabwean Human Rights NGO Forum (10 February 2011) Statement On The Outbreak Of Violence And Selective Application Of The Law).
Amnesty International (11 February 2011) Zimbabwe: Urgent need for security sector reform to stem human rights abuses
Human Rights Watch (8 March 2011) Perpetual Fear, Impunity and Cycles of Violence in Zimbabwe
Voice of America (10 March 2011) MDC Energy Minister Arrested in Zimbabwe
Voice of America (18 February 2011) Rising Political Violence Reported in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwean Human Rights NGO Forum (10 February 2011) Statement On The Outbreak Of Violence And Selective Application Of The Law
Zimonline (11 March 2011) Zim govt in danger: Tsvangirai
This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Refugee Documentation Centre within time constraints. This response is not and does not purport to be conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please read in full all documents referred to.