By Staff Reporter
As the world commemorates International Human Rights Day, the mother body of civil societies in the country, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition has bemoaned the deteriorating state of human rights in the Southern African region.
In a press statement, the NGO conglomerate said owing to the ravaging coronavirus pandemic, gross human rights violations in the form of rape, torture, discrimination, corruption, inadequate provision of health services, food insecurity have been recorded in SADC countries.
The statement reads: “As we commemorate International Human Rights Day, it has to be noted that civil, political as well as socio-economic rights have largely come under threat within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) due to the advent of Covid-19 with the political elite abusing the lockdown regulations to tighten their grip on power by weakening checks and balances”.
Crisis Coalition went on to argue that many SADC countries hid behind lockdown while committing gross human rights violations.
The statement went on to say, “Many countries during the lockdown periods issued decrees that gave the police and the army expanded powers to enforce lockdown regulations but this, later on turned to be a consolidation of authoritarian rule with the police and the army emerging as the biggest violators of human rights while Covid-19 responses were largely militarised and centralized”.
The non governmental organization also said , this years theme “Recover Better- Stand Up for Human Rights” theme dovetails well with the situation in most SADC countries as the advent of the Covid 19 pandemic triggered an upsurge in cases of human rights violations and a dire humanitarian situation.
With exponential rise in rights abuses in the SADC region Crisis coalition called for SADC countries uphold human rights
“We call upon SADC countries to adhere to the core principles of human rights as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and these include universality, interdependence and indivisibility, equality and non-discrimination”.
On the 10th of December each year the world commemorates the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.