Hotspot Micro-Report (updated February 16 2004)


Reports of politically motivated state-organized violence have continued to be reported throughout the last 12 months.  In addition to the consistent reports of violence and torture against the political opposition, the violence has now spread to include reported “rape squads,” which have been attacking and raping the white minority around the country.  Victims have reported uniformed police accompanying these squads, and actively participating in the attacks on citizens in their own homes.  The political suppression of the independent media has now been institutionalized with a ruling by the Supreme Court defining any newspaper or journalist operating in the country without a government license as a crime.  Additionally, a ban has been placed on all foreign journalists thereby preventing any non-government sanctioned news from reaching the international community.  The situation continues to merit international attention due to political violence, politicized food aid, and general human rights’ abuses throughout the country.

Types of Abuse and Danger
  • Man-exacerbated hunger gap (International Crisis Group)
  • Torture (Physicians for Human Rights / Denmark)
  • State-sponsored violence (IRIN News)
  • Suppression of the independent media (Media Institute of South Africa)
  • Expulsion of foreign journalists (BBC News)
Field Contacts Verification
  1. Independent Domestic Media
  2. Embassies
  3. International Human Rights NGOs
  4. International Relief NGOs
Field Contacts Verification

International Contacts:

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
UN Secretary-General’s Office


US Contacts:

State Department
 State emergency task force
 Zimbabwe desk officer
White House 

Foreign Ministries:

US embassy
British embassy
Swedish embassy
Danish embassy
Norwegian embassy
Canadian embassy
South African embassy


Washington Post
UN Security Council
UN Development Program
Mail & Guardian, SA
Agence France Presse
Chicago Times
New York Times
Los Angeles Times 


International Crisis Group
Int. Committee for the Red Cross
Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch
Physicians for Human Rights / Denmark
Human Rights Watch


Latest News Links

February 9 2004:  Rape Gangs Target Whites

February 6 2004:  Zimbabwe vows to keep ban on foreign journalists

February 7 2004: 
Mugabe’s ally in Supreme Court outlaws ‘Daily News’ paper

February 9 2004: 
Southern Africa: Region May Face Food Shortages in 2004/05 Season

February 8 2004: 
Mugabe Tightens Screws On Dissention

February 6 2004: 
Political Violence Persisted in 2003-Report

September 30 2003: 
Eyewitness: Zimbabwe’s endless queues

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