GENEVA / ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS

16-Aug-2019 00:02:37
United Nations urged the government of Zimbabwe “to find ways to continuously engage with the population about their legitimate grievances on the economic situation, and to stop cracking down on peaceful protestors.” UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / ZIMBABWE HUMAN RIGHTS
TRT: 02:37
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/NATS

DATELINE: 16 AUGUST 2019 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, briefing room
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“On Zimbabwe it’s a fast-changing situation I understand that today’s planned protests have just been called off by the organizers, following a High Court decision earlier this morning upholding a Government ban on the demonstrations that were announced just yesterday. However, with opposition demonstrations still likely to take place in Zimbabwe in the near future, we urge the Government to find ways to continuously engage with the population about their legitimate grievances on the economic situation, and to stop cracking down on peaceful protestors. If such demonstrations go ahead we urge the security forces and protesters to ensure they proceed calmly and without any violence.”
3. Close up, journalist
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We are deeply concerned by the socio-economic crisis that continues to unfold in Zimbabwe. While acknowledging efforts made by the Government, the international community and the UN in Zimbabwe to mitigate the effects of the crisis and reform process, the dire economic situation is now impacting negatively on the realization of the economic and social rights of millions of Zimbabweans.”
5. Close up, briefing notes
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“Long-term neglect and structural deficiencies have contributed to hyperinflation, resulting in soaring prices for fuel, food, transport and health services, which is having a dramatic impact on the population, and particularly on marginalized working-class people. The fact that key commodities and services have become less affordable for poor families, means there is an increasing need for strong social protection measures. And around 5 million Zimbabweans or one third of the total population of some 16 million are now estimated to need humanitarian aid that is a huge proportion.”
7. Close up, journalist typing
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“Ahead of today’s planned protest, which was called off at the last minute, there were worrying reports of threats against citizens who wish to exercise their right to express their opinions of the economic situation via peaceful protests, with allegations of increased surveillance of, and threats against, civil society organizations by State agents.”
9. Close up, journalists
10. Wide shot, journalists
11. Close up, journalist
12. Med shot, journalists
STORYLINE
United Nations urged the government of Zimbabwe “to find ways to continuously engage with the population about their legitimate grievances on the economic situation, and to stop cracking down on peaceful protestors.”

Planned mass protests against catastrophic economic situation in Zimbabwe were called off by organizers, following a high court decision to uphold Government ban on demonstrations.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva on Friday (16 Aug) Rupert Colville, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said “if such demonstrations go ahead, we urge the security forces and protesters to ensure they proceed calmly and without any violence.”

Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) had vowed to hold protests marches this Friday (16 Aug) against the worsening economy, despite government threats to stop them. Late on Thursday police said the protests had been banned. The MDC went to court in the early hours of Friday to challenge the ban but lost the case. Crowds that had already gathered were dispersed by police, this morning with reports emerging of the use of force against protestors.

Colville said “we are deeply concerned by the socio-economic crisis that continues to unfold in Zimbabwe. While acknowledging efforts made by the Government, the international community and the UN in Zimbabwe to mitigate the effects of the crisis and reform process, the dire economic situation is now impacting negatively on the realization of the economic and social rights of millions of Zimbabweans.”


He also said, “ahead of today’s planned protest, which was called off at the last minute, there were worrying reports of threats against citizens who wish to exercise their right to express their opinions of the economic situation via peaceful protests, with allegations of increased surveillance of, and threats against, civil society organizations by State agents.”
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