News / Africa

Zimbabwe Diamond Investigator's Bail Delayed

Farai Maguwu, who has been investigating human rights abuses in diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe will miss a key meeting of the international diamond regulator, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in Tel Aviv Monday, because he remains in detention in a hospital in Harare.

Maguwu was arrested after allegedly handing a secret document to an official of the Kimberley Process monitoring Zimbabwe's controversial diamond fields.

Human rights activist Farai Maguwu was arrested in Mutare, the capital of the eastern Manicaland Province on June 3.

For more than two years he has been investigating many allegations of human rights abuses by security forces against civilians or informal miners digging in diamond fields in the Marange area within the Manicaland province.

He claimed in a documentary broadcast on South African Broadcasting Corporation earlier this year that Zimbabwe's security forces had killed about 400 civilians who worked in the mines during a military campaign against them in late 2008.

The Kimberley Process was set up six years ago to stop the sale of conflict or "blood" diamonds.

According to a report by South African Abbey Chikane, appointed by the Kimberley Process to monitor Zimbabwe's diamonds, Maguwu gave him a top secret document when they met in Zimbabwe late last month.

In Chikane's report, leaked to the media this week, he says Maguwu told him that the document had been obtained "fraudulently."

The document allegedly contains details about  military campaigns in the diamond fields.

Chikane states further in his report that after reading the document, he sought legal advice in Harare and said he was informed he could be prosecuted for being found in possession of a stolen secret document.

Days later Maguwu was arrested.

Chikane said this week that he was not a "freedom fighter but an international monitor" and that Maguwu's actions had endangered his own safety and threatened the integrity of the Kimberley Process.

Maguwu, who has denied allegations that he handed Chikane any secret document,  has been moved from police cells to a private hospital in Harare and claims through his lawyers that he has been mistreated by the police.

The attorney-general's office said he faces charges of publishing and communicating statements prejudicial to the state and attempted to get bail this week.

His bail application was delayed until the coming week.

The Kimberly Process will on Monday consider Chikane's  report on Zimbabwe. Human rights groups want Zimbabwe suspended from the Kimberley Process citing human rights abuses. They also criticized Chikane's actions following his meeting with Maguwu.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Thursday that the delay on a bail decision for Maguwu will prevent him from participating in the Kimberley Process meeting in Israel.

Toner says Maguwu has rigorously investigated diamond field rights violations.

Toner says the United States expects Zimbabwe to treat Maguwu fairly and to quickly review his case.

A report in Friday's Herald newspaper in Zimbabwe, which supports President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF,  says even though Zimbabwe's diamonds have not yet been cleared for export by the Kimberley Process, substantial numbers of valuable stones have already been sold to buyers in the United Kingdom and Belgium.


You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid