UK vigils keep up pressure on Zimbabwe over torture

By staff writers
June 28, 2007

While the economy and infrastructure of Zimbabwe continues to crumble, and President Mugabe defies international opinion on human rights issues, UK-based groups are keeping the pressure for change up as part of a concerted global effort.

A service of solidarity with torture victims of Zimbabwe took place on 26 June 2007 at St Paul's Church in Bedford Street, Covent Garden WC2, Independent Catholic News reports.

The event was deliberately timed to coincide with the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The London event was organised by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum in association with Amnesty International UK, Redress, International Bar Association, International Rehabilitation Council for Victims of Torture, Zimbabwe Association and the Zimbabwe Vigil.

Between January and March 2007 the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum documented 254 cases of torture in Zimbabwe.

After the service and speeches from Chenjerai Hove, John Makumbe and Brita Sydhoff, a procession took place to lay flowers on the steps of the Zimbabwe Embassy in memory of those who have been tortured.

Similar services and solidarity events took place in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

A Vigil outside the UK Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 The Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 2-6pm to protest against what campaigners say are "gross violations of human rights by the current regime in Zimbabwe"

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