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Abducted Activist Itai Dzamara Gets International Life Achievement Recognition


FILE - Sheffra Dzamara, wife of activist Itai Dzamara, holds her 2-year-old daughter and speaks to The Associated Press in Harare, March 8, 2016.

Political activist, Itai Dzamara, who was abducted by unknown assailants in March 2015, is one of the four human rights heroes that have been honored by Amnesty International with a Lifetime Achievement recognition.

According to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), Dzamara’s achievement was announced by Amnesty International’s senior director of research, Anna Neistat.

Dzamara, who formed the protest movement, Occupy Africa Unity Square, seeking the resignation of President Robert Mugabe for allegedly failing to property run Zimbabwe’s economy, was last seen alive in Glenview at a barber shop.

He was abducted by suspected state security agents. The government, which has professed ignorance over his abduction, was ordered by the High Court to find the political activist, who was recently named the Overall Human Rights Defender of the Year 2015 in Zimbabwe.

Dzamara gets the international honor alongside Berta Cáceres of Honduras, Narges Mohammadi of Iran, and Sirikan Charoensiri of Thailand.

Neistat said Zimbabweans under President Robert Mugabe have suffered human rights violations for a long time.

Celebrating the four activists at the time of the Oscar Awards help in Los Angeles on February 26, Neistat said, Dzamara’s life resembled a movie script.

“If this were a movie, justice would have been done long ago. Dzamara would have been returned to his wife and children, and the men who abducted him held accountable.

“But this isn’t Hollywood. This is Zimbabwe, where basic rights and freedoms have been trampled on throughout the long years of Robert Mugabe’s reign.”

The missing journalist’s brother, Patson – who is now an activist after Itai’s abduction – has told Zimbabwean media that there are plans to film a documentary in his owner.

Dzamara criticized the government’s record, and particularly wrote a petition that he personally delivered at the office of the president, before his forced disappearance.

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