(STATEMENT ON the occasion of the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims (24 MARCH 2017))
(Public Statement 5/2017)
Issue Date: 23 March 2017
- Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) joins the international community in commemorating the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims which falls on 24 March 2017 and calls on the government of Zimbabwe to speak the truth regarding Gukurahundi genocide and allow free and uncensored space for truth telling and justice for the victims of this genocide that resulted in gross human rights violations.
- We demand that the government release all the truth about the Gukurahundi genocide, by:
- Allowing the enactment of a free, independent and unbiased National Peace and Reconciliation Commission which should be led by a citizen of Matabeleland.
- Enacting the Gukurahundi Truth Bill which makes it a criminal offence for any individual, group of people, organization, publication or work of art to deny or trivialize the happening of the Gukurahundi genocide.
- Immediately refraining from trying to fast track the Gukurahundi reburials outside the involvement of independent and internationally certified and recognized forensic exhumation scientists, if the process is to give truth and dignity for the genocide victims.
- Forthwithly stopping the controlling or demanding of notifications for meetings organized for the purposes of dealing or gathering evidence on Gukurahundi if it is sincere on the truth process.
- Stopping all security sector and political fear instilling tactics on Gukurahundi talks.
- We further call on all those that served the regime during the Gukurahundi genocide era to come out openly and tell all the truth they know about the genocide, if they have genuinely separated themselves from the system.
On 21 December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 March as the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims. The day is to honour the memory of victims of gross and systematic human rights violations and promote the importance of the right to truth and justice.
Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights is an independent human rights think tank that exists to enhance the respect, protection, promotion and fulfilment of human rights in the Matabeleland region of Zimbabwe.
The General Secretary
Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights