By Alex Bell
19 March 2013
Zimbabweans in the UK have urged the British Prime Minister David Cameron to impose a moratorium on the deportation of Zim nationals, because of increasing levels of violence and intimidation back home.
This call has been made by the UK based Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) group, which has warned Cameron in a letter that violence is on the rise. The group cited the “disturbing campaign” of police harassment of civic groups in Zimbabwe as well as increasing violence.
“The MDC party of Morgan Tsvangirai has submitted a dossier to the Southern African Development Community detailing 120 incidents of violence in the past few months. We expect the situation to worsen as polling approaches because President Mugabe’s ZANU PF thugs are given impunity by the police to terrorise opponents,” ROHR said in its letter to Prime Minister Cameron.
ROHR spokesperson Fungayi Mabhunu told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that many Zimbabwean exiles are living in fear in the UK, because of the threat of being deported.
He also warned that there are growing reports of abuse at the hands of UK Border Agency officials, with some Zimbabwean deportees being sedated during attempts to forcibly remove them from the country.
“We are deeply disturbed by allegations that deportees to Zimbabwe are being threatened with sedation to facilitate their forced removal from the UK. We are also concerned by the practice of detaining asylum seekers when they sign-in as required by law. We believe this approach discourages compliance and instead drives the frightened asylum seeker under the radar and possibly into crime,” Mabhunu said.
“We beg the UK government to seriously consider deferring deportations to Zimbabwe to at least 6 months after the planned 2013 elections which we believe will be, like those before them, violent,” Mabhunu said.