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2007 Amnesty Report Says Zimbabwe's Human Rights Situation Deteriorating

The human rights watchdog, Amnesty International, in its annual report issued Wednesday, said Zimbabwe’s human rights situation is deteriorating in the face of escalating poverty.

The 2007 report stated that countries like Zimbabwe, Burundi, Sudan and Somalia, are using so called anti-terror and public laws, to restrict dissent and the work of human rights defenders.

The group also criticized the African Union's silence on issues of human rights, not only in Zimbabwe, but other countries on the continent.

‘’The AU continued to demonstrate a deep reluctance to publicly criticize African leaders who failed to protect human rights, especially in Sudan and Zimbabwe,” the report said.

Further, the report stated that "although the Consultative Act of the AU underscores the centrality of the promotion and protection of human rights throughout the continent, the AU fell short of its commitment to human rights generally."

Amnesty International said victims of the government’s 2005 clean up campaign, Operation Murambatsvina, are still homeless, as Harare has continued to obstruct humanitarian efforts by the United Nations and other organizations.

Deputy Director Tawanda Hondora of Amnesty’s International’s Africa program, told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe, that Harare is using threats to erode people’s human rights.

But Zimbabwe’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Boniface Chidyausiku dismissed the report, and told reporter Blessing Zulu that it was a non-event.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...