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26 June 2008

We, the United Nations Special Procedures mandate holders meeting in Geneva from 23 – 27 June 2008, wish to express our grave concern about widespread reports of recurring politically motivated violence in Zimbabwe and other obstacles to citizens’ free and equal participation in the country’s presidential run-off election scheduled for 27 June 2008.

We recall the joint statement of some United Nations Special Procedures mandate holders issued on 29 April 2008 regarding the situation in Zimbabwe in the aftermath of the 29 March 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections, which underlined the deteriorating human rights situation in the country.

We strongly urge the Government of Zimbabwe to ensure respect for human rights and to abide by democratic principles and practices, in accordance with Zimbabwe’s own domestic law and international human rights standards. We also urge the Government and the opposition to renew their dialogue with a view to finding a sustainable solution to the country’s problems, including the current political crisis, for the common good of the people of Zimbabwe.

Finally, we wish to urge the Government of Zimbabwe to respond effectively to the call for free and fair elections and to respect the liberty and security of the person in the spirit of peace, democracy and the rule of law. In this regard, we are of the view that no election should take place in the absence of conditions that would guarantee the free, full and equal participation of all citizens in the electoral process.