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Special Rapporteur calls upon Zimbabwe to receive him in Harare.

GENEVA, Oct 28 (KUNA) -- Upon his arrival in Johannesburg, the Special

Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or

punishment, Manfred Nowak, called upon the Government of Zimbabwe to receive

him in Harare and allow his A mission to go ahead as planned. On transit to Harare, the Special Rapporteur was informed, that the mission

had been postponed by the Government on 26 October 2009.

He was invited by the Government of Zimbabwe to conduct an official

fact-finding mission, from 28 October to 4 November 2009. The Government of

Zimbabwe said that regrets to advise that due to the previously unanticipated

Consultative process currently taking place in Harare involving the Government

of National Unity and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the

Government of Zimbabwe will be unable to receive the Special Rapporteur on the

proposed dates. The Special Rapporteur welcomes the SADC initiative and all efforts to

resolve the political crisis in the country.

He also said that he understands that the SADC Consultative process might

lead to certain changes in his meetings with Government officials foreseen

during his mission and offered his cooperation and flexibility to the

Government in this respect.

However, he said he fails to be convinced, however, that the Consultative

process on Thursday, 29 October should be a valid reason to cancel his

eight-day mission at such a late stage.A

Recent allegations that report that human rights defenders have been

arrested, harassed and intimidated during the past few days, highlight the

urgency of objective fact-finding by an independent UN expert at this crucial

stage.

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Publication:Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
Date:Oct 28, 2009
Words:277
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