The President of Caritas Internationalis Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga is calling for the immediate release of Jestina Mukoko and other Zimbabwean human rights defenders.
Jestina Mukoko was abducted from her home in Harare on December 3. Her whereabouts are still unknown.
She is one of Zimbabwe’s most visible advocates for human rights and the rule of law. She is the director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), a partner organization of Caritas Ireland (known as Trócaire).
Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez said, “News of the abduction of Jestina Mukoko is disturbing. She is a respected human rights defender and valued partner of Caritas. Ms Mukoko and all other human rights defenders that have been abducted should be immediately freed. The rule of law and respect for human rights must be re-established in Zimbabwe.”
Jestina Mukoko was taken from her house in front of her son last Wednesday morning. Fifteen plain clothes men broke into her family home in a pre-dawn raid around 5am local time.
On Monday December 8, two of her colleagues were also forcefully taken from their offices. None of them have been heard from since, nobody has taken responsibility for their disappearance.
The ZPP has played a crucial role in documenting politically motivated violence in Zimbabwe. It came to the fore during the run-up to the June presidential election which was sharply criticised at home and abroad. As a human rights organisation, ZPP has continued to document politically motivated violations in the country.
Human rights have deteriorated drastically in Zimbabwe this year. In addition to the indirect denial of such basic human rights as food and clean water, healthcare and education, the last few months has been marked with the shootings of illegal diamond miners by the police and army, the arrest of more than seventy people at trade union protests, the detention of civil society activists after peaceful protests and the systematic targeting and detention of human rights defenders.
Trócaire will be marching this Saturday in Dublin in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe.
Please take this online action
demanding the release of Trócaire friend and partner, Jestina Mukoko.
Please call Patrick Nicholson on +39 06 698 79 725 or +39 334 359 0700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any requests