Human Rights Watch (HRW) is reporting that in the Republic of Zimbabwe, anti-riot police have harassed, beaten, and ordered around 200 families off a farm owned by the family of President Robert Mugabe. The Arnolds Farm, Mazowe, Mashonaland Central province, Zimbabwe has been occupied by the families for nearly 17 years. The police are said to have been acting on the orders of First Lady Grace Mugabe.
One instance involved two of the farm’s residents being arrested and charged with trespassing because they are alleged to have, “illegally entered into Arnolds Farm, which is owned by the First Family.” Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights defended both civilians and reportedly witnessed the police attacking their clients as they were being detained.
According to HRW the Zimbabwean government should ensure that the residents of Arnolds Farm are not denied their rights under international law and the national constitution. These include the rights to shelter, food, health, and the prohibition of torture. The African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa, ratified by Zimbabwe, requires in article 3(1)(a) that states parties “refrain from, prohibit and prevent arbitrary displacement of populations.”
At present, the police are said to have destroyed most of the homes on Arnolds Farm. HRW writes that many of the families have lost their crops and livestock during the demolitions, forcing them to live and sleep out in the open with nowhere to shelter. However the residents have refused to move from the farm entirely as the government is said to have yet to offer them suitable alternative land. Since 2015, the Zimbabwe government has resettled less than six families from the farm but provided them with no compensation.
For a more detailed account of this story, click below:
And click the following link to read the The African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa:
Image source: www.relativityonline.com
Text source: www.hrw.org – 23rd May 2017
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