Call for an election free from violence and fear
Zimbabwe is due to go to the polls in 2013. The last election in 2008 was marred by extreme violence with over 200 killed and thousands more injured and displaced. Many of those targeted were human rights defenders and civil society activists. Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) leaders, Jenni Williams and
Magodonga Mahlangu were detained for 37 days for peacefully calling on Zimbabwe’s neighbours, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to intervene to halt the bloodshed. SADC can play a
critical role in ensuring the 2013 Zimbabwe elections are free from violence and fear.
What you need to do:
Write to the leaders of the SADC calling on them to undertake measures to ensure the 2013 general
election is free from violence against peaceful human rights defenders, civil society activists and political
Please write to South Africa first and then, if you have more time, to the others listed below:
South Africa (Jacob Zuma is the SADC appointed mediator between Zimbabwe’s ruling parties)
· Tanzania (Chair of the SADC body responsible for peace and security in the region)
· Angola (Chair of SADC)
His Excellency Jacob Zuma, President, Office of the State President, Private Bag X1000, Pretoria 0001,
Fax: +27 12 321 8870
His Excellency Mr Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete , President, Office of the President, The State House, Magogoni
Road, PO Box 9120, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Fax: +255 22 211 3425
His Excelecny José Eduardo dos Santos, President, Office of the President, Protocolo de Estado, Rua 17
Sample letter to copy and paste if you wish
Following the first round of the presidential election in Zimbabwe in March 2008, there was a
period of extreme violence and instability in the country. There was an unprecedented wave of
state-sponsored human rights violations, which resulted in over 200 people being killed, at least
9,000 injured and 28,000 displaced. Torture and ill-treatment of opposition supporters was widely
reported. Human rights defenders and political activists and their family members were abducted
and human rights violations were often carried out with impunity. There has still been no
accountability for the majority of the human rights violations that occurred at this time.
On 28 May 2008, 14 members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) were arrested during a
peaceful demonstration calling on the Southern African Development Community (SADC), to help
bring an end to the state-sponsored violence. WOZA leaders Jenni Williams and Magodonga
Mahlangu were detained for 37 days and the other 12 were detained for 17 days.
This year Zimbabwe is due to hold new elections and Amnesty International is calling for there to
be no repeat of the violence that occurred in 2008. SADC can play a critical role in ensuring the
2013 Zimbabwe elections are free from violence and fear and I urge you to use your key position
within SADC to make this happen.
I call on SADC to:
· Press the Zimbabwean authorities to undertake measures to ensure the 2013 elections
are free from violence against peaceful human rights defenders, civil society activists and
all supporters of political parties, before, during and after the elections.
· Urge the Zimbabwean authorities to allow human rights defenders, civil society activists
and all supporters of political parties to peacefully exercise their right to freedom of
expression, association and assembly.
· Pressure the Zimbabwean authorities to investigate all reports of political violence that
occurs in the context of the 2013 elections and ensure the perpetrators are held to account
for that violence.
· Deploy election observers, including human rights monitors, before, during and after the