Local EU statement on recent incidents of harassment of Civil Society Organisations (22/02/2013)
DELEGATION OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
TO THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE
Local EU Statement on recent incidents of harassment of civil society organisations
The European Union Delegation issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Zimbabwe:
The EU Delegation is deeply concerned about the recent pattern of incidents of harassment against civil society organisations, including searches, arrests and detentions on dubious charges as well as the use of undue force against peaceful assemblies.
A dynamic, diverse and independent civil society, able to operate freely in compliance with the law and to engage in democratic processes, is a corner stone of democracy. Freedom of assembly and association, and the respect for diversity of political opinion, is also fundamental to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) agreed by all Parties.
These recent incidents raise particular concern in the context of preparing for the constitutional referendum and the elections. It is critical that the authorities demonstrate impartiality, including in their relation to civil society, and contribute to generating confidence in these important political processes.
We welcome the President's and the Prime Minister's repeated calls for peace and reconciliation. These calls must now be followed by urgent action to overcome polarisation and antagonism, paving the way for peaceful, transparent and credible elections.
The Embassies of Norway, Australia and Canada associate themselves with this statement.
In Harare, on 22 February 2013
EU House, 1 Norfolk Road, Cnr Golden Stairs/ Norfolk Road, Mt Pleasant, Harare Zimbabwe
Telephone: +263.4.338158-338164; +263.772.568980-4 Telefax: +263.4.338165
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