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This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Alleged army rapes amidst Zimbabwe fuel hike protests go uninvestigated

When Zimbabweans took to the streets in January, women were met with sexual violence by security forces. Many are scared to report abuses.

Can a male-dominated legal industry achieve meaningful reforms for women?

Despite shocking accounts of harassment and discrimination within their profession, women lawyers in Zimbabwe and beyond are fighting for more gender-sensitive laws.

After Mugabe: dawn of a new error in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s new president Emmerson Mnangagwa might bring socio-economic improvements, but don’t count on him ushering in a new era of democracy.

‘Swept under the carpet’: violence against Zimbabwe's women journalists

Women journalists in Zimbabwe have been beaten and harassed by state security. The male-dominated media largely ignores these abuses.

Zimbabwe in turmoil: from the trenches

Despite constant harassment and brutal repression, one by one all sectors of society are expressing their discontent publicly.

Dripping with blood: the Marange diamond fields

Despite numerous human rights violations in the Marange diamond fields, the area is not classified as producing 'blood diamonds'. But by any ordinary definition, it should be. The diamonds are dripping with blood, as the battle between formal mining companies and illegal panners continues unabated.

HIV disclosure: changing ourselves, changing others

When will policy makers, politicians and academics start to think upstream, in order to change their own and their employees’ attitudes towards HIV before seeking to change the attitudes of others?

Speaking the ‘unspeakable’ through film in Zimbabwe

From socially conscious film-making to challenging the invisibility of women in the industry, pioneering Zimbabwean filmmaker and writer Tsitsi Dangarembga speaks with Beti Ellerson about her film activism.

What is a ‘fair’ election?

The recent elections in Zimbabwe were a flagrant fraud.  But analysis must not stop short at ballot rigging. Zimbabwe’s problems are far greater. Why did many Zimbabweans vote for Mugabe?  

The fields of Marange: where is the diamond money?

Local communities were supposed to reap the benefits of rich resources since Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond fields were opened up to formal mining in 2009. Four years on, impoverished locals are still waiting.

Tobacco farmers wiping out Zimbabwe’s indigenous forests

Following Mugabe's land reforms, Zimbabwe's farmers are turning to the booming tobacco industry to alleviate poverty, but this get-rich quick-fix scheme comes at what price to the local environment and farming communities? 

Las nuevas potencias no jugarán con las viejas reglas

Esperar que las nuevas potencias globales promuevan los derechos humanos fuera de sus países a través de las Naciones Unidas supone que jugarán con las reglas viejas y, para que esa presión sea efectiva, que los factores de derechos humanos condicionarán sus relaciones bilaterales; ninguno de esos supuestos es probable.

New powers won’t play by old rules

Expecting new global powers to promote human rights abroad via the United Nations assumes that they will play by the old rules and - if such pressure is to be effective - that human rights factors will condition their bilateral relationships; neither is likely. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on Emerging Powers and Human RightsEspañol.

Zimbabwe: women debunking the myth of 'merit'

In preparation for Zimbabwe's forthcoming general election, the use of quotas to increase women’s occupation of political office remains one of the most effective tools for countering the patriarchal barrier to women of ‘merit’, says opposition MP Jessie Fungayi Majome.

Zimbabwe: speaking from where I feel safe

Many women in Zimbabwe face war in their homes daily and face war with the state when we try to overcome it. Often we find ourselves in combat when all we are actually trying to do is to crawl out of our own small room, says Betty Makoni.

Zimbabwe: the prospects for democratic transition

The death of an autocratic leader does not necessarily entail the fulfilment of the long-cherished democratic transition. In the event of Mugabe’s demise, will the Government of National Unity be able to achieve transition to a separation of powers and more pluralist democracy? 

Chinese companies under scrutiny in Zimbabwe

Ten years into the Look East policy, Zimbabwe is showing itself to be a not-so-satisfied customer of Chinese investment.

Illegal diamond mining in Zimbabwe

Despite spirited efforts by the government to convince the international community that illegal mining and diamond underhand dealings in Marange (Chiadzwa) were under control, events on the ground suggest otherwise.

Silent Fear in Zimbabwe

Civicus’ policy coordinator travelled to Harare on Monday, March 28 for an open forum on developing civil society organisation in conflict situations. She describes what happened next.

Targeted sanctions on Mugabe - should the EU appease Jacob Zuma?

The EU must not submit to Zuma's calls for the lifting of sanctions in Zimbabwe, argues Clifford Chitupa Mashiri

Mugabe's zero sum game

Mugabe seems little constrained by the 2008 Global Political Agreement which established the coalition with the Movement for Democratic Change

New fears of xenophobia send migrants fleeing in South Africa

New rumours of xenophobic reprisals after the World Cup send foreign migrants fleeing in South Africa. A new Amnesty International report slams endemic sexual violence in Kenyan slums. A Sri Lankan government minister begins hunger strike to protest UN inquiry into war crimes. Fresh bombings kill more Shia pilgrims in Baghdad. Defeated candidates and supporters protest over ‘rigged’ presidential elections in Guinea. New Australian PM Gillard backtracks on Timor-Leste refugee processing centre. All this and more in today’s briefing...

Chilean election sees revision of Pinochet legacy

Chilean elections see potential rightward swing. Iranian men don headscarves in protest. Mugabe reelected leader of Zanu-PF. Thailand intercepts North Korean arms shipment. 31 prisoners escape in Philippines jailbreak.

Surge in piracy sees eighth vessel captured

Eight boats in the hands of Somali pirates following spate of hijackings. Zimbabwe calls UN human rights experts a gatecrasher. US officials seek resolution prior to Honduran elections. Venezuela accuses Colombia of US-backed espionage. India will withdraw troops from Jammu. All this and more in today's update.

Scores dead in Peshawar blast

A powerful bomb blast in Peshawar leaves ninety dead, hundreds wounded. Six UN employees killed in Kabul. Guinea’s September massacre pre-planned according to Human Rights Watch. The political crisis deepens in Zimbabwe. The Hague hears how Karadzic ‘ordered’ ethnic cleansing. All this and more in today’s security update.

PKK take steps to bolster Turkish reforms

PKK members surrender to Turkey to back peace reforms. Roy Bennett trial threatens Zimbabwe unity government. Top Islamabad University bombed whilst Pakistan Taliban captures ground. U.S. offers new approach towards Sudan and more in today's Security Briefing.
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