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Save the SADC Tribunal

This petition had 274 supporters

The SADC states stood together successfully to defeat apartheid in South Africa.  They must now stand together to stop human rights abuses and bring an end to government-sponsored violence within member states which has led to deaths, shocking injuries and mass scale displacements.

We call on all peoples of all communities and organisations both in and out the Southern African region to stand together as one and petition their Heads of State to reinstate and strengthen the mandate of the SADC Tribunal regional court.

The SADC Tribunal was the only court in Southern Africa that a person could take their case to when their own domestic courts failed them. Following pressure from Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe after he lost a series of cases at the Tribunal, it was shut down. The issue of whether or not to permanently remove it will be discussed at the Southern African Development Community Heads of State Summit from 17-18 August. This gives us only a few days to do something to Save the SADC Tribunal.

The people of southern Africa who have suffered injustices need this court. It was dissolved last year by a travesty of justice. Now the people have nowhere to turn.

For example, in the Gondo case, the SADC Tribunal awarded damages of nearly US$17 million in December 2010 to nine Zimbabweans who were the victims of organised violence and torture.  

Assisted by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, they sued the Zimbabwean government for failing to comply with the orders of the country’s High Court which had previously awarded them compensation. 

The victims suffered bullet wounds, beatings and even paralysis as a result of the physical violence at the hands of the police and soldiers about nine years ago.  

The Zimbabwe government clearly feared that this ruling could open the floodgates for other victims of police and army brutality who have failed to get fair hearings in Zimbabwean courts.

Key people in the 15 countries that make up SADC have been sent DVDs of the 10-minute film to put pressure on Governments to restore the Tribunal but they urgently need a mass movement of voices and people behind them calling on the SADC Heads of State to not turn their backs on their obligations to their people.  There is also a powerful 3-minute version of the film:

We are desperate for the plight of the suffering people, and need your help to give voice to the voiceless and provide communities around the world with the ability to show their support and stand alongside the brave and courageous people who are standing up in situations where human rights have been lost in Southern Africa.

Today: Botswana Civil Society Solidarity is counting on you

Botswana Civil Society Solidarity Coalition for Zimbabwe needs your help with “Save the SADC Tribunal”. Join Botswana Civil Society Solidarity and 273 supporters today.