AU in Zimbabwe rights call

African body urges Harare to respect human rights and democratic principles.

    Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was beaten while in police custody [EPA]
    On Sunday Zimbabwean police crushed an opposition rally in Harare and arrested the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai, and other activists for defying a police ban.
     
    Tsvangirai and several of his supporters were beaten up while in police custody.
     
    Economic meltdown
     
    John Kufuor, the AU chairman said on Wednesday the situation in Zimbabwe was "embarrassing", but defended the body's response to the crisis.
     
    Demonstrators in London, where he was speaking, denounced the African body's failure to condemn Mugabe outright.
     
    Mugabe has brushed aside international condemnation sparked by images of a badly-beaten Tsvangirai, saying Western governments could "go hang", and accused the opposition of waging a violent campaign against him.
     
    African leaders have acknowledged the dangers they face from the economic meltdown in Zimbabwe, where inflation stands at 1,730 per cent and unemployment at 80 per cent.
     
    But they have been reluctant to speak out, despite pressure from the West.
     
    Desmond Tutu, the South African Nobel laureate, said on Friday that African leaders should be ashamed over the crisis in Zimbabwe.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.