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End the persecution of rights defenders

Updated: Jun 25

Statement by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition

3 February 2023

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition condemns in the strongest possible terms the ongoing crackdown against Nomalanga Sipapate and other pro-democracy activists in Zimbabwe.

Sipapate, a mother of two young children, is the head of a local initiative providing vital support to victims of politically motivated violence across the country. In the lead-up to Zimbabwe's crucial 2023 elections, her activism has stood out as a beacon of hope and resilience, as she fearlessly fights for a free and fair electoral process.

Under Sipapate's leadership, her initiative has coordinated aid and support for thousands of victims of pre-election violence, including cases of abductions, beatings, and rapes carried out by suspected state security forces and ruling party affiliates. However, this crucial work has come at a personal cost, as Sipapate herself has become a target of the crackdown.

Despite facing threats to her safety and that of her family, Sipapate's commitment to this cause remains unwavering. She has vowed to continue standing up for free and fair elections and the protection of human rights, no matter the personal risk. Her story is a testament to the bravery and resilience of those who continue to fight for justice and a free Zimbabwe.

The ongoing crackdown and lack of accountability have been condemned by international observers, casting a dark shadow over the current administration's commitment to democratic reforms. The actions of the security forces have undermined public trust and sparked concerns about the state of democracy in Zimbabwe.

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition calls on the government of Zimbabwe to immediately cease the harassment and intimidation of Nomalanga Sipapate and all other pro-democracy activists. We demand that the authorities respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Zimbabwean people, and ensure a free, fair, and peaceful electoral process in 2023.

The people of Zimbabwe deserve a government that upholds democratic principles, protects human rights, and respects the will of the people. We stand in solidarity with Sipapate and all those who continue to fight for a brighter future for Zimbabwe.

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