Sunday, December 14, 2008

where is jestina mukoko?

first question is - who is jestina mukoko? she is a woman in zimbabwe, currently the director of the zimbabwe peace project, a group that monitors human rights in the country. the sunday times reports today:

The terrifying ordeal of Jestina Mukoko, a television news anchor turned human rights activist, began at 5am on December 3 when seven men and one woman forced their way into her house at gunpoint in Norton, a quiet, leafy town 25 miles west of Harare. The intruders were not in uniform, although one of the men claimed to be a police officer. They refused to let her dress, find her spectacles or pick up the blood pressure pills that she is supposed to take three times a day. Her 17-year-old son Takudzwa and a six-year-old niece, Tofara, who was in her care, were left shocked and alone after seeing her led away in her nightdress. Mukoko, 51, who was widowed 13 years ago, has not been seen since by family, friends or lawyers. The regime of President Robert Mugabe has said nothing about her whereabouts or her condition. Fears for her safety are growing."

nobody knows who took her, or where she is. the only thing everyone knows is that robert mugabe will be much happier when she is not around to catalogue the evidence of his tyranny. for example, the st tells us that:

"Jestina Mukoko recorded 20,143 incidents between January and September 2008 including:

- 202 murders
- 463 abductions
- 41 rapes
- 411 cases of torture
- 3,942 assaults
- 907 cases of malicious damage to property
- 444 cases of unlawful detention
- 10,795 cases of harassment/intimidation
- 73% of victims are said to be supporters of the opposition MDC
- 80% of perpetrators of violence are claimed to be Zanu-PF supporters"

how do the powers in this world decide which countries need to be invaded in order to save their people and which do not? is zimbabwe being left alone because all available forces are currently deployed in afghanistan and iraq? if such invasions ultimately do not achieve their goals, e.g., bringing democracy to the region, or flushing out and removing despots and their followers, then what can be done to help? mugabe is utterly bonkers, but it is not just a question of political violence ... MILLIONS are going hungry, and the economy has collapsed. jestina mukoko has probably been murdered already. i wish i could be brave like she is. and i wish i knew what to do with such courage.

sunday times article.
press release amnesty usa.

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