US calls on Zimbabwe to find missing anti-Mugabe activist Itai Dzamara

Demonstrators in Harare sing, dance and shout political slogans during a march to mark the one year anniversary of the disappearance of activist Itai Dzamara on 9 March 2016. Thursday marks the second anniversary of Dzamara's disappearance.

JOHANNESBURG – The United States Embassy in Harare on Thursday called on Zimbabwe authorities “to mobilise the full extent of their resources” to investigate the circumstances surrounding anti-Mugabe activist Itai Dzamara, who was abducted two years ago.

“Today, March 9th, marks the second anniversary of the disappearance of Mr. Itai Dzamara, Zimbabwean civil society activist and leader of Occupy Africa Unity Square. On this day two years ago, Dzamara was forced into an unmarked vehicle and has not been heard from since,” said the US embassy in a statement.

READ: US concerned over Zimbabwe activist's abduction

Dzamara is a Zimbabwean journalist and political activist known in Zimbabwe mostly for his Occupy Africa Unity Square campaign that was a protest against the government of 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe. He was 35 when he disappeared.

The US embassy in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, said it remains deeply concerned about Dzamara’s whereabouts and wellbeing. It said the lack of progress in solving this case “raises doubts” about the intention of the authorities responsible for the investigation.

“We once again call on Zimbabwean authorities to show their commitment to protecting the constitutionally-guaranteed human rights of all Zimbabweans, regardless of political beliefs or affiliation,” the embassy said.

“We again call on Zimbabwean authorities to mobilise the full extent of their resources to investigate the circumstances surrounding Mr. Dzamara’s abduction, and to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.”

The US embassy said this matter was not an issue of politics. “This is an issue of basic human rights and rule of law.”

All citizens of Zimbabwe have the right to life and personal liberty, the right to participate in peaceful political activities, including the right to demonstrate and petition peacefully, and the right to express themselves freely and without repercussion, the embassy said.

“We stand together with Mr. Dzamara, the Dzamara family and the people of Zimbabwe in demanding resolution in this case and in supporting their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”

READ: Opposition leader blames Mugabe over Dzamara

AFP

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