MDC approach UN, AU to help locate missing activists

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change said Sunday it had solicited the help of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), African Union (AU) and United Nations to locate 11 of its supporters abducted by state security agents last year.\r\n

The 11 were part of over 40 MDC activists, including a two-year-old child, who were abducted by armed gunmen across the country since October 29 2008.

The party said the 11 have been unaccounted for, nearly two months after their abduction by armed men believed to be from the police and intelligence service.

Other activists abducted at the same time with the 11 have since been brought to court on charges of training in banditry and bombing state buildings.

The MDC said efforts by relatives and the party’s lawyers to locate the missing activists have been fruitless as the police are claiming that they are not in police custody.

The MDC is deeply concerned by the abductions of its members and civic society activists, which flies in the face of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed by the three major political parties on 15 September 2008.

"The MDC has since put in place a team of experienced legal attorneys and at a political level the party has sought the support and guidance of the SADC, AU and United Nations, so that the rights and freedoms of the abducted people are protected," said an MDC spokesperson.

Several MDC and human rights activists are facing charges of plotting to overthrow President Robert Mugabe and bombing police stations in the capital Harare.

They deny the charges and have told the courts that they were severely tortured while in police custody in order to force them to confess to these false allegations.