President Mugabe pictured above
HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s justice minister rejected allegations that the country has state sponsored violence and he vowed not to recognize gay rights after meeting with the U.N. human rights chief on Monday.
But the nation’s main independent civic groups accused President Robert Mugabe’s party of trying to present a “fraudulent” account on human rights issues to U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, who is in Zimbabwe to assess the situation.
In a joint statement Monday, 36 groups said they will boycott a meeting with her arranged by Mugabe’s justice ministry at the Harare Parliament building scheduled Tuesday. The groups said bogus organizations, some even the perpetrators of injustice, were invited to “ambush” the rights defenders’ talks with Pillay.
Earlier, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said he told Pillay that claims of state sponsored torture were untrue, and the allegations must be investigated.
“There is no state sponsored violence, these are all lies. We told her that there are no torture chambers in Zimbabwe,” he said.
He said that Zimbabwe will arrest same sex partners found committing illegal homosexual acts.
“We made it clear that in our law homosexual activities are criminalized and that any person who commits homosexual activities will be arrested,” he told reporters after meeting with Pillay in Harare
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