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Cite as:  UKAIT 94,  UKAIT 00094
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HS (returning asylum seekers) Zimbabwe CG  UKAIT 00094
Date of hearing: 23rd – 26th July 2007
Date Determination notified: 29 November 2007
|Secretary of State for the Home Department||RESPONDENT|
Introduction and scope of reconsideration
"Had it not been for the country guidance case law that binds me I would have dismissed the appellant's appeals."
Evidence on reconsideration of appeal
32. - (1) The Tribunal may consider as evidence any note or record made by the Tribunal of any previous hearing at which the appeal was considered.
(2) If a party wishes to ask the Tribunal to consider evidence which was not submitted on any previous occasion when the appeal was considered, he must file with the Tribunal and serve on the other party written notice to that effect, which must -
(a) indicate the nature of the evidence; and
(b) explain why it was not submitted on any previous occasion.
14A.3 A party who wishes the Tribunal on reconsideration to consider any evidence that was not before the original Tribunal must indicate in the notice under rule 32(2) whether the evidence is sought to be adduced:-
(a) in connection with the issue of whether the original Tribunal made a material error of law; or
(b) in connection with the substitution of a fresh decision to allow or dismiss the appeal under rule 31(3), in the event of the original Tribunal being found to have made a material error of law.
22. As far as what has been called the second stage of a reconsideration is concerned, the fact that it is, as I have said, conceptually a reconsideration by the same body which made the original decision, carries with it a number of consequences. The most important is that any body asked to reconsider a decision on the grounds of an identified error of law will approach its reconsideration on the basis that any factual findings and conclusions or judgments arising from those findings which are unaffected by the error of law need not be revisited. It is not a rehearing: Parliament chose not to use that concept, presumably for good reasons. …
23. It follows that if there is to be any challenge to the factual findings, or the judgments or conclusions reached on the facts which are unaffected by the errors of law that have been identified, that will only be other than in the most exceptional cases on the basis of new evidence or new material as to which the usual principles as to the reception of such evidence will apply, as envisaged in rule 32(2) of the Rules. It is to be noted that this rule imposes the obligation on the parties to identify the new material well before the reconsideration hearing. This requirement is now underlined in the new Practice Direction 14A. This sets out in some detail what is required in such a notice.
"… and the fact that a previous court or other decision-maker has reached a view on facts which are in issue in the present appeal is not of itself any evidence as to those facts. On the other hand, in the general interests of good administration, it is probably true to say that decisions should not be unnecessarily divergent. It is that principle of good administration which, so far as we can see, provides the sole basis in logic or on authority for saying that the result of the previous litigation may be relevant in the present appeal.
What then is its relevance? It can surely only be this: that the previous decision can be taken as establishing the issue in question unless there is any reason not to take it as establishing that issue in question. It has no evidential effect. It does not even give rise to a presumption. It is simply a starting point. That is, indeed, what was decided in TK, as we have seen. ... [T]he old decision remains, but only as long as there is no reason for displacing it."
"… reflect the well-established principle of administrative law that "persons should be uniformly treated unless there is some valid reason to treat them differently."
"In terms of evidence the Tribunal takes as its starting point the record and summary of evidence as set out in the determination of the Tribunal in AA (Risk for involuntary returnees) Zimbabwe CG  UKAIT 00061 ("AA(2)"), read in the light of the decision of the Court of Appeal in AA (Zimbabwe) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 149."
History of the AA litigation
"… returnees are regarded with contempt and suspicion on return and do face a very hostile atmosphere. This by itself does not indicate that all returnees are at real risk of persecution…"
And at paragraph 51(i) the Tribunal concluded that:
"There is no general risk for failed asylum seekers of a breach of article 3 as a result of the current hostility towards such returnees."
"It will be seen at once that his argument is distinctly unattractive. This country, like any other signatory to the Refugee Convention, takes a pride in giving proper shelter to those who seek its protection having fled from persecution, or fear of persecution, elsewhere. The Appellant is not such a person. If his argument is successful, there is a risk that any Zimbabwean can obtain the protection of the Refugee Convention simply by coming to the United Kingdom and claiming asylum, even though there is no merit at all in his claim. If the Appellant's claim is right, residence as a refugee in the United Kingdom and all the benefits, whether by standard of life, employment, social security, or health services, which such residence offers are potentially open to any Zimbabwean who could manage to get here and who is prepared to indulge in a cynical manipulation of the asylum system. No court in any country that is a party to the Refugee Convention would wish to see the Convention abused in that way."
"… on the evidence before us the process by which the United Kingdom authorities enforces the involuntary return of rejected asylum seekers to Zimbabwe exposes them to a risk of ill-treatment at the hands of the CIO [Central Intelligence Organisation]."
244. A person who is returned involuntarily to Zimbabwe having made an unsuccessful asylum claim in the United Kingdom does not face on return a real risk of being subjected to persecution or serious ill-treatment on that account alone. That is so whether or not the removal is escorted. Each case must be considered on its own facts. We reaffirm the country guidance in SM and Others (MDC – internal flight- risk categories) CG  UKIAT 00100. The evidence before us demonstrates that those at risk upon return to Zimbabwe continue to fall into the risk categories identified and set out in SM. This is subject to what we say about those whose military history discloses issues that will lead to further investigation by the security services upon return to Harare Airport and those in respect of whom there are outstanding and unresolved criminal issues.
245. There continue to be three flights a week from the United Kingdom to Harare Airport. These are generally fully booked with ordinary travellers who pass freely and without difficulty in and out of Zimbabwe. Anyone who is indistinguishable from the ordinary traveller will not have any difficulty in passing through the airport. A person who has made an unsuccessful claim for asylum but who makes a voluntary return, with or without the assistance of an IOM reintegration package, will be indistinguishable from the ordinary traveller unless there is reason to believe that he will be identified on return as falling within one of the risk categories we have identified.
246. A person who has made an unsuccessful asylum claim and has exhausted his rights of appeal will still be able to arrange a voluntary return until he is detained for the purpose of removal. After he has been detained for removal his travel documents will be held by the airline staff even if the person being removed is co-operative and compliant.
247. All those returned involuntarily to Zimbabwe will be identified as deportees as the respondent has no plans to change the method of removal. This will mean that the returnee will either be escorted, in which case the escort will hand the passport over to the authorities at Harare Airport or, if not escorted, the travel documents will be retained by airline staff who will hand them over to the authorities at Harare Airport. Although the airline staff has discretion with regard to the travel documents, the evidence does not indicate that in any significant number of cases the deportee is allowed possession of the documents before disembarking.
248. All persons identified as deportees will be diverted for questioning by CIO officers who are required to produce a report in respect of all persons who have been forcibly removed to Zimbabwe from the United Kingdom, whether escorted on the plane or not. There is no indication that the authorities in Zimbabwe have any means to distinguish between deportees who have made an unsuccessful asylum claim in the United Kingdom and those who have been removed simply because they have no leave to remain.
249. The purpose of the initial interview is to establish whether the deportee is of any interest to the CIO or the security services. The deportee will be of interest if questioning reveals that the deportee has a political profile considered adverse to the Zimbabwean regime. Further interrogation away from the airport may also follow if enquiries reveal aspects of a military history to be followed up such as being absent without leave or being involved in military activities outside Zimbabwe. Also, the CIO will refer to the police any issues of outstanding criminal matters such as arrest warrants. There is no evidence that the fact alone of a past criminal conviction, as opposed to an unresolved allegation of criminal activity or an outstanding arrest warrant, will give rise to such an interest. There is also no evidence that the simple fact that a returnee has in the past served in the Zimbabwean army will prevent the passage of a returnee through the airport after this first stage enquiry.
250. If such a political or relevant military profile is suspected, or if there are outstanding criminal matters to be resolved, the deportee will be taken away by the relevant branch of the CIO for interrogation. The evidence does not suggest that the CIO has any interest in manufacturing or fabricating evidence to create suspicion that is otherwise absent.
251. This second stage interrogation carries with it a real risk of serious mistreatment sufficient to constitute a breach of article 3. If the reason for suspicion is that the deportee has a political profile considered to be adverse to the Zimbabwean regime that is likely to be sufficient to give rise to a real risk of persecutory ill-treatment for a reason that is recognised by the Refugee Convention. That will not necessarily be the case where the only matter of interest is a relevant military history or outstanding criminal issues. Each case must be considered on its particular facts.
252. A deportee from the United Kingdom who, having been subjected to the first stage interview at the airport, is allowed to pass through the airport is likely to be the subject of some monitoring in his home area by the local police or the CIO. This monitoring may take the form of being required to report to the local police station for questioning or may be significantly lower key such that the subject may not even be aware of it. If nothing untoward is discovered the authorities will lose interest and the monitoring will cease. It may take some considerable time, certainly a period of months, before the monitoring ceases.
253. The objective evidence does suggest that the police and the CIO are capable of acting in a seriously abusive manner towards those they perceive to be dissident or in some way an enemy of the state but the evidence does not support the assertion that there is a real risk of persecutory ill-treatment for those who are being monitored solely because of their return from the United Kingdom.
254. The general country conditions are extremely difficult. There is some evidence that newcomers to an area, and not necessarily just newcomers from abroad, are watched and might attract some interest. That evidence does not establish a real risk that persecutory ill-treatment will follow as a result. There is no evidence of societal disapproval of those who have been abroad, whether to claim asylum or not. The returnee may or may not have a home to which he can return and relatives to whom he can turn for support. Very many Zimbabweans, perhaps most, have to deal as best they can with food shortages and other difficulties arising from the collapsed economy. Those difficulties will not generally be sufficiently severe to enable an appellant to rely upon article 3 to resist removal.
255. A failed asylum seeker can chose to return to Zimbabwe voluntarily, with or without the assistance of IOM and where he will face no real risk of harm because he will be indistinguishable from the ordinary traveller. It might be argued that a person may face a real risk of persecutory ill-treatment on an involuntary return to Zimbabwe because of what might emerge from the interview that would take place following an involuntary return but would not following a voluntary return. In those circumstances he will not be able to succeed in an asylum appeal unless he can demonstrate that a similar risk exists should he agree to return voluntarily. This was considered by the Court of Appeal in this case who said at paragraph 99 that:
"…a person who can voluntarily return in safety to the country of his nationality is not a refugee, notwithstanding that on a forced return he would be at risk. Such a person is not outside his home State owing to a well-founded fear of persecution. Neither s 84(1)(g) of the Act of 2002 nor Article 33 of the Convention can begin to demonstrate the contrary, since neither enlarges the "refugee" definition; and a safe voluntary returnee is outside the definition."
256. The Court of Appeal did not deal with the question of whether a person who can voluntarily return in safety can rely upon article 3 to resist an involuntary return. It is not necessary, in order to decide this appeal, for us to address that either. It may be that such a person cannot succeed under article 3. He has chosen in those circumstances to expose himself to a claimed risk unnecessarily. It would be his decision to do so that would expose him to that risk and not the act of the United Kingdom in returning him compulsorily as a consequence of his refusal to return voluntarily. In any event, a refusal to exercise a voluntary return option, in the knowledge that the only alternative is a forced return, may be cogent evidence that the returnee himself is satisfied that no such real risk exists on a compulsory return."
30. The case advanced on behalf of AA in this appeal is both general and particular. The general case is that it was not rationally open to the Tribunal on the evidence as a whole to find that there was a two-stage screening interview process at the airport, and that the first stage was to be regarded as risk-free for those without an adverse political profile, a questionable military history or outstanding criminal matters. The direct experience of W5 and W6 was out of date. It ended in 1998 and 1996 respectively. It was at a time when there were few returning asylum seekers from the United Kingdom. It was at a different and less spacious airport. The Tribunal's findings were incompatible with what is known about Zimbabwe generally, with what is known about how the CIO operates, and the experiences of a significant number of the individual returnees properly considered. It is said that, in contemporary circumstances, the division of the procedure into two stages was illusory. It was extrapolated from evidence which did not include suspicion of the person returning to Zimbabwe. Now a failed asylum seeker returning from the United Kingdom would be regarded with suspicion and hostility and would probably be revealed to be a failed asylum seeker. In these circumstances, interrogation by intelligence services, whom W6 regarded as no longer professional, for a period of several hours must constitute a real risk of serious ill-treatment in the light of the evidence as a whole.
31. We are not persuaded that this general case alone predicates an error of law sufficient to sustain this ground of appeal. We have carefully considered the written and oral evidence of W5 and W6. Their direct experience was not contemporary, but they both had contacts in Zimbabwe. Their evidence did sustain a finding of a two-stage process. Apart from particular points about their evidence, which we consider below, and subject to possible further consideration of the evidence and information about individual returnees in the light of the particular points and generally, we consider that it was open to the Tribunal to make the factual evaluative judgment in this respect which they did.
32. The particular part of this ground of appeal is, however, more persuasive. Those advising AA considered that the Tribunal's written determination had failed to take account of parts of the evidence of W5 and W6 which supported the case that involuntarily returning failed asylum seekers faced a real risk of serious ill-treatment even at a first stage screening interview. There was no transcript of the evidence of these witnesses, but the notes of evidence taken by members of the Tribunal have been provided to us. In summary the relevant parts of that evidence are as follows.
33. W5 said in his statement that his current contact at the airport told him that all returned asylum seekers were handed over to the CIO who carried out thorough questioning and then decided what should be done. In re-examination, as noted by the Chairman and another member of the Tribunal, he explained that the thorough questioning, as he understood it, involved the use of crude techniques, which he referred to as coercion.
34. W6 also explained in oral evidence what happened at the airport in the screening interview. As noted by the Chairman of the Tribunal, he said "there was abuse at the airport; kicking, beating, not torture". The note made by another member of the Tribunal was to the same effect, but noticeably that was when W6 worked at the airport. He left, he said, because of corruption in government and things going the wrong way. These days, he said, the Zimbabwe Intelligence Services were no longer professional.
35. This evidence of W5 and W6 as to significant violence at the airport did not stand alone. It was reflected in some of the complaints made by or on behalf of some of the individual returnees, and in our judgment it should have been addressed. Mr Kovats accepts that the Tribunal's decision says nothing about hitting and kicking at the airport. The reference to thorough questioning is quoted, but there is no reference to the explanation by the witness of what he understood those words to mean. Whether or not there was violence at the airport was, in the context of this case and in the context of the Tribunal's own conclusions as outlined above, an important issue. Not having heard the evidence, we are unable to say with any confidence how, if this had been addressed, it may have affected the evaluation as a whole. It might thus be seen, as we indicated earlier, as pivotal. It could have been determinative of the appeal, as is apparent from the structure of the Tribunal's judgment.
38. However, the question whether failed asylum seekers with no adverse political profile or relevant military or criminal attributes returning involuntarily to Zimbabwe face a real risk of inhuman or degrading treatment is obviously a finely balanced one. We have indicated that, in our view, a reconsideration of the evidence of W5 and W6 might tip the balance. Since we regard the evaluation of this evidence about procedures at the airport as pivotal, and since it is intrinsically bound up with the general evidence about the attitude and practice of the CIO, we shall not embark on an analysis of the Tribunal's handling of that evidence in isolation. We note in particular, however, the submissions in paragraphs 97 to 102 of AA's skeleton argument to the effect that the Tribunal failed to take explicit account of the evidence of W1 and W2 as to physical ill-treatment of those questioned by the CIO.
39. Reconsideration of the evidence of W5 and W6 may also require reconsideration, in the light of all the evidence, of the impact which the evidence and information about the 39 individual returnees, taken as a whole and with the other evidence, may have on the appeal. We say this for two reasons. First, ground 5 of the present appeal seeks to challenge the Tribunal's conclusions about three of the individual returnees.
40. There were two inconsistent accounts of R4's treatment when he was removed in January 2005. According to the first, he was intensively questioned, then released; according to the second, he was beaten by the CIO during intensive questioning at the airport. The Tribunal regarded the second account as unreliable for evaluative reasons which are by themselves sustainable, if their earlier conclusions about procedures at the airport are also sustainable, but which otherwise may require reconsideration. One of their reasons was that the first account given by R4 was consistent with the evidence they had received concerning procedures at the airport. If, as we think, the Tribunal's conclusion about procedures at the airport requires reconsideration, so too may their conclusion about R4.
41. Second and generally, the Tribunal's conclusions about the individual accounts taken as a whole (see paragraphs 229 ff to which we have already referred) drew (in paragraph 231) on their earlier conclusions about the evidence of procedures at the airport. Since, as we think, the balance is a fine one, reconsideration of the evidence of W5 and W6 will require reconsideration also of the relevance of evidence about the risk of violence to voluntary and involuntary returnees, who were not merely failed asylum seekers, to those of whom AA is taken to be representative. We note, for instance, submissions on behalf of AA that the evidence of R25 (W7) and R26 (W8) was inconsistent with a conclusion that a real risk of serious ill treatment only arises when a returnee is taken away from the airport. R25 and R26 were MDC activists (not merely failed asylum seekers) whose evidence complained of serious ill treatment and showed that there are sufficient facilities to enable beatings to be inflicted during questioning at the present international airport.
42. Ground 5 also seeks to criticise the Tribunal's findings in relation to R19, but the criticism is insubstantial. The information about R19 was extremely vague and there was no indication at all of the nature of the problem he was said to have encountered. That remained so with the addition of Ms Harland's evidence that the problems, whatever they were, occurred at the airport.
43. Criticism of the Tribunal's decision in relation to R31 seems to us to have more substance. She was not an asylum seeker and the information about her came from what appears to be an internet news report. She was a student who had been refused an extension of her leave to remain in the United Kingdom. At the airport, she was, according to a report, subjected to a hostile interview during which she was struck across the mouth when she asked why the interviewers would not believe she was just a student. After about three hours of interview, she said that she had an uncle in the Zimbabwean national army. He was contacted and she was released. As she left, she could hear the shouts and groans of two other deportees. In paragraph 205 of its determination, the Tribunal said that the treatment to which this witness claimed to have been subjected did not amount to serious ill-treatment such as to engage Article 3. We have difficulty understanding why not. We agree that trivial violence to an interviewee might not engage Article 3. But Mr Nicol pointed to what was said by the European Court of Human Rights in Ribbitsch v Austria (1995) 21 EHRR 573 at paragraph 38 about injuries deliberately inflicted on a person in police custody, as follows:
"The court emphasises that, in respect of a person deprived of his liberty, any recourse to physical force which has not been made strictly necessary by his own conduct diminishes human dignity and is in principle an infringement of the rights set forth in Article 3 (art 3) of the Convention."
The brief account in relation to R31 does not give us the impression that, properly considered and in context, the violence was trivial. In saying this, we take account of Mr Kovats' submission that the physical violence in Ribbitsch was gross and that the issue was whether the injuries had been sustained accidentally; and that other cases in which the court has found physical mistreatment of those in detention by state officials went well beyond that complained of in the case of R31. Mr Kovats referred in Ireland v United Kingdom (1978) 2 EHRR 25, paragraphs 92-130; Tomasi v France(1993) 15 EHRR 1, paragraphs 105-115; Selmouni v France (2000) 29 EHRR 403, paragraphs 82-89; and Balogh v Hungary,  ECHR 361, application 47940/99 (20 July 2004), paragraphs 10 and 45-46. The Tribunal went on to point out that the news report was clearly intended to fulfil a journalistic point, and that R31 could not be identified, so the Secretary of State was unable to test the account in any way. That certainly affects the weight to be given to the evidence. But, unless the account was to be wholly disregarded, the point in relation to the Tribunal's perception of the threshold for Article 3 violence for this returnee did need to be addressed.
Overview of evidence
The legal test in assessing risk.
"The issue is whether the evidence establishes a real risk. The Appellant does not need to show a certainty or a probability that all failed asylum seekers returned involuntarily will face serious ill-treatment upon return. He needs to show only that there is a consistent pattern of such treatment such that anyone returning in those circumstances faces a real risk of coming to harm even though not everyone does. So, is there evidence pointing to a substantial number of cases in the context of general evidence showing that involuntarily returned failed asylum seekers are at real risk of being subjected to serious ill treatment on that account alone?"
This does not mean, of course, that the assessment of risk is to be based solely upon our assessment of the evidence concerning those who have been subjected to enforced return in the past. That is just part of the overall picture. As there is no current evidence of what happens to asylum deportees, inferences must be drawn from the evidence as a whole. As the Tribunal said in AA(1):
"… the Appellant needs to establish a real risk to returned asylum seekers. He does not need to show that all, or nearly all, returned asylum seekers are harmed. He needs only to show that all returned asylum seekers are at real risk. He can do that, as a matter of logic (and in our judgement as a matter of law) by any evidence that properly leads to the conclusion in question."
The existing country guidance: SM and Others (MDC-internal flight-risk categories) CG  UKIAT 00100.
"41. The Tribunal accepts from his evidence and from the news reports in Zimbabwe that those deported to Zimbabwe from the United Kingdom will be subject to interrogation on return. In the light of the interest and comment the resumption of returns has raised in the government press in Zimbabwe it seems to us to be inevitable that this will be the case. If it is being asserted by the Zimbabwe government that returns are being used as a cloak for British agents and saboteurs to be smuggled into the country, it is likely that those returns will be carefully monitored whether for that reason or to identify and intimidate opponents to the regime. The reports in the newspapers in Zimbabwe are consistent with there being an atmosphere of suspicion to those returned. The returnee in the New Zimbabwe report was released following a telephone call made to an uncle serving in the army but only after an intimidating interview. We take into account that before returns were suspended there was some evidence that returnees were investigated. We have our doubts about the story of the returnee in the article from January 2002 and his escape out of an airport lavatory window at Harare and his subsequent travel to South Africa, but in any event we are concerned with returns at the present time. We also approach with caution the reports that a number of recent returnees have never re-appeared once they were taken from the plane by CIO agents and that others have disappeared. No names or details have been provided and if, as Professor Ranger says the returns have been carefully monitored, we would have thought such details would be available.
42. Nonetheless the Tribunal is satisfied in the light of the statements made by the Zimbabwean authorities that returnees are regarded with contempt and suspicion on return and do face a very hostile atmosphere. This by itself does not indicate that all returnees are at real risk of persecution but that returnees are liable to have their background and circumstances carefully scrutinised by the authorities. We are satisfied that those who are suspected of being politically active with the MDC would be at real risk. We agree with Professor Ranger that if the authorities have any reason to believe that someone is politically active the interrogation will be followed up. There is a reasonable degree of likelihood that this will include treatment sufficiently serious to amount to persecution."
The background country evidence
"The population of Zimbabwe is about 13 million: 18 June 2007 Home Office Border and Immigration Agency Country of Origin Information Report on Zimbabwe ("COIR") paragraph 1.04 [R178]. It has been estimated that about 3.4 million of them have left the country, most to South Africa: 1 July 2007 Observer article [A vol.A 770].
Inflation is spiralling out of control, and the currency is effectively worthless: COIS [R175]. A United Nations report published on 14 June 2007 predicted that the country would collapse within 6 months: COIR [R175]. The shops have been emptied by panic buying: 5 July 2007 Guardian article [A vol.F 774]. On 5 April 2007 the Catholic bishops of Zimbabwe issued a pastoral letter which was a damning indictment of the Zimbabwean government [A vol.A 403-406]. On 10 July 2007 the BBC reported Archbishop Ncube as saying that the situation had become life threatening. It has been said that only remittances from abroad and revenue from platinum mining keep the country going: COIR paragraph 2.08 R181-R182]; 8 July 2007 Times article [A vol.A 780].
The unemployment rate is 80%: COIR paragraph 7.02 [R197]. 80% of Zimbabweans live on less than US$1 a day: COIR paragraph 2.08 [R181].
The judicial system bows to the executive: COIR paragraph 13.13 [R254-R255].
The public health service has collapsed: COIR paragraphs 29.01 [R327] ICRC [A vol.A 576]. Zimbabwe has the world's lowest female life expectancy, 34 years: COIR paragraph 25.01 [R304]. One in 12 children dies before the age of 5: COIR paragraph 26.05 [R312]. There are 1.8 million orphans and vulnerable children, largely as a result of AIDS: COIR paragraph 26.20 [R316]. Approximately 1.6 million Zimbabweans are HIV+: COIR paragraph 29.26 [R333]. About 3,000 are dying from AIDS every week: COIR paragraph 29.05 [R327-R328]. The BBC has reported that you need a ZANU-PF card to get treatment at government hospitals: COIR 29.24 [R332].
The World Health Organisation estimates that about 5 million Zimbabweans are unable to meet their minimum food requirements: COIR paragraph 29.01 [R327]. Drought will further reduce the harvest this year: COIR paragraph 30.22 [R348]. Food distribution was used as a political tool in the 2005 election: COIR paragraphs 30.28 [R349] and 30.31 [R350]. The CIO is in charge of grain distribution: COIR paragraph 11.62 [R233].
The electricity and water systems are in crisis: COIR paragraph 29.04 [R327].
Around 700,000 people lost their homes in Operation Murambatsvina, and a total of about 2.4 million people were affected, directly or indirectly: COIR paragraphs 31.01 [R352] and 31.10 [R354]. About 500,000 farm workers lost their homes in the government's land seizure programme: COIR paragraph 30.04 [R343-R344]. There are approximately 1.7 million internally displaced people in Zimbabwe: COIR paragraph 33.01 [R361]. 75% of families deported to rural areas in Operation Murambatsvina have returned to urban areas [A vol.A 4]. The report by the Zimbabwe Peace Project, entitled Partisan Distribution of Food and other forms of Aid at District Level: the Case of Manicaland (September 2006) [A vol.A 8-33] provides evidence of the distribution of aid on political grounds but does not indicate significant discrimination against returnees as such. Only 14 of the 74 case studies concerned persons who had returned from abroad, and of those only 1 had returned from the United Kingdom. "
"The scale of destruction is unprecedented in Zimbabwe. Indeed, there are few if any precedents of a government so forcibly and brutally displacing so many of its own citizens in peacetime"
"The government of Zimbabwe has permitted security forces to commit serious abuses with impunity against opposition activists and ordinary Zimbabweans alike, Human Rights Watch said today. Security forces are responsible for arbitrary arrests and detentions and beatings of opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters, civil society activists and the general public."
The deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch is quoted in the same report as saying:
"The government of Zimbabwe has intensified its brutal suppression of its own citizens in an effort to crush all forms of dissent. The crackdown shows the government has extended its attack on political dissent to ordinary Zimbabweans, which should prompt the Southern African Development Community to act quickly."
Although the reports concerning state sponsored violence against Zimbabwean citizens indicate that the primary targets are those perceived to be the ruling party's political opponents, this report gives examples of abuse suffered at the hands of the police by ordinary citizens who were not conducting themselves in a manner such as to identify themselves as political activists:
"Human Rights Watch recently spent two weeks in Zimbabwe interviewing many victims of abuse and witnesses to the political unrest in the cities of Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare. Witnesses and victims from Harare's high-density suburbs of Glenview, Highfield and Mufakose told Human Rights Watch that for the past few weeks police forces patrolling these locations have randomly and viciously beaten Zimbabweans in the streets, shopping malls, and in bars and beer halls.
Police forces have also gone house to house beating people with batons, stealing possessions and accusing them of supporting the opposition. The terror caused by the police has forced many families in the affected areas into a self imposed curfew after dark."
"The arrest and severe beating of these opposition leaders and civil society activists by police and state security officers marked a new low in Zimbabwe's seven-year political crisis. It ignited a new government campaign of violence and repression against members of the opposition and civil society – and increasingly ordinary Zimbabweans – in the capital Harare and elsewhere throughout the country. The ominous statements by Zimbabwe's President Mugabe on March 17 and 29, 2007 that the opposition members and civil society activists deserved to be "bashed" by the police highlighted the government's blatant disregard for the basic human rights of its citizens that authorities at all levels have shown during Zimbabwe's political crisis."
"President Robert Mugabe has urged Zimbabwe's security forces to remain on high alert to thwart attempts to topple his government by the opposition and his western foes, official media reported on Friday"
President Mugabe, addressing a ceremony for graduating police officers, said:
"Our security forces have heightened their vigilance in order to thwart the subversives manoeuvres of those who engage in crimes of political violence. I wish to call upon people of Zimbabwe to unite against the shameless British arm-twisting tactics being orchestrated through the MDC and the so called civil groups."
Country conditions and article 3 of the ECHR.
"No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."
"to grasp the distinction in non-state agent cases between on the one hand the risk of serious harm and on the other hand the risk of treatment contrary to article 3. In cases where the risk "emanates from intentionally inflicted acts of the public authorities in the receiving country" (the language of para 49 of D v United Kingdom 24 EHRR 423, 447) one can use those terms interchangeably: the intentionally inflicted acts would without more constitute the proscribed treatment. Where, however, the risk emanates from non-state bodies, that is not so: any harm inflicted by non-state agents will not constitute article 3 ill-treatment unless in addition the state has failed to provide reasonable protection."
"… Treatment is inhuman or degrading if, to a seriously detrimental extent, it denies the most basic needs of any human being. As in all article 3 cases, the treatment, to be proscribed, must achieve a minimum standard of severity, and I would accept that in a context such as this, not involving the deliberate infliction of pain or suffering, the threshold is a high one. …… But I have no doubt that the threshold may be crossed if a late applicant with no means and no alternative means of support, unable to support himself, is, by the deliberate action of the state, denied shelter, food or the most basic necessities of life. .."
"in almost all these cases stopping the treatment will lead in a very short time to a revival of all the symptoms from which the patient was originally suffering and to an early death."
"There may be some extreme cases (although such cases are likely to be rare) where a person would face such poor conditions if returned – e.g. absence of water, food or basic shelter – that removal could be a breach of the UK's Article 3 obligations…"
The respondent's case.
"In practice it is extremely rare (the individual from the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe said "never") for individuals to be picked out and interviewed by CIO officers at the airport; the expectation was that this would happen elsewhere if required.
If CIO or other security personnel were intent on using violence against an arriving passenger, they would be very unlikely to do so at the airport."
"British Embassy officials have also spoken to one person familiar with the operation of the airport, but who is not willing to be identified, who told the Embassy that returned failed asylum seekers would have a routine interview with the CIO airport team and little or no follow up afterwards. That person has never heard of returnees coming to any harm."
"In light of the information provided in the further statements of witnesses 5 and 6 the respondent accepts that witness 5 worked for Zimbabwean military intelligence and is not contesting the existence of the Major."
The Central Intelligence Organisation
"The Central Intelligence Organisation was formed by the Rhodesian authorities in the late 1960s as the country's main civilian intelligence agency. It was later taken over by the Zimbabwean government, ideologically re-oriented and placed under the Ministry of National Security in order to adopt a protective role for the new regime.
Since 2000, the CIO has been used to spearhead the ZANU-PF political-economic program, including farm occupations and the suppression of opposition politicians and media.
The CIO has taken over immigration security at Harare International Airport in its search for dissidents (mostly MDC activists), especially on flights to the UK and the US. It justifies this action within the remit of co-operation in the international fight against terrorism.
Dr Diana Jeater, Principal Lecturer in African History at the University of the West of England, noted in a briefing paper that: "The CIO and police have always been very efficient at being able to identify and locate people within Zimbabwe … There is good evidence that the CIO keeps lists of people who are suspected of sympathy with opposition positions…
CVNI.com noted that "Over the last couple of years, the CIO has been widening its scope of operations. The agency now works actively with the ZANU-PF youth organisation; which is part of the state funded training programme of the Ministry of Youth Affairs. They are trained in a network of "youth camps" across the country and in a short time have become a paramilitary extension of the CIO."
"… A report broadcast by SW Radio Africa (Zimbabwe news) in July 2005 stated that: "There is mounting concern that a significant number of state security agents from Zimbabwe are infiltrating groups in the UK under the pretext of helping asylum seekers or even claiming asylum themselves. Several meetings have been disrupted by rowdy elements who claim to be genuine activists. The growing fear is that Mugabe is sending spies into the UK who will be collecting information on activists in the country…" [89aj] The Institute for War and Peace Reporting noted on the 23 June 2006, that Mugabe had CIO operatives working in Britain. [77r] ZimOnline reported on 16 April 2007 that an intelligence source claimed that CIO operatives had in the past "…been assigned special surveillance missions on opposition leaders when they visit neighbouring countries." [49br]"
30. Professor Ranger described the man who is currently in charge of the CIO as someone who was notorious for using violence against political opponents. The CIO was now invested with responsibility for food distribution. It was also currently involved in Operation Murambatsvina ("the clean-up operation") which started in May 2005 and was concerned with the destruction of thousands of homes in urban areas. In November 2002 this man said: "We will be better off with only six million people, with our own people who support the liberation struggle. We don't want all these extra people". He has accused Britain of conspiratorial interference in Zimbabwean affairs and is said to believe that many British spies have been infiltrated into the country.
31. The professor considered that the violence used by the CIO could not be attributed to a lack of discipline by "rotten apples", with those affected having a right of complaint to a higher authority. Beatings during interrogation were a fundamental part of CIO practice and would not be punished. The CIO used interrogation, torture and killings to achieve its aims. Professor Ranger referred to a recent report entitled "Zimbabwe: The Face of Torture and Organised Violence!" (Redress, March 2005). The author of this report asserted that the use of torture was deeply ingrained, particularly within the CIO, whose budget was increased sixfold in 2004. Professor Ranger believed that the nature and outlook of the CIO did not appear to have changed in the thirty years he had known it. He said it has always hunted down opponents of the regime, often using extreme violence.
32. There was no real dispute about this part of the professor's evidence"
"Anyone held even by the ordinary police for questioning, even for an hour or two will routinely face some physical ill treatment. The CIO are more brutal. The increasing politicisation, and decreasing professionalism and heightened impunity of the ordinary police gives rise to an increased risk to such people in their home area. And in the same way as I put the increasing brutality of the security forces down to the message of impunity created by the encouragement of the leadership, so their increasing emphasis on the role played by Britain in fomenting the opposition, in particular in the context of blaming the UK for the recent dramatic deterioration, is likely to create an increased risk for anyone suspected by the CIO or police of being a sell-out/traitor because they had sought asylum in the UK."
The evidence of Professor Ranger
"Threats by the United Kingdom to deport 10,000 Zimbabweans could be a cover to deploy elements trained in sabotage, intimidation and violence to destabilise the country before and during next March's parliamentary elections….. There had been, for some time, a number of media reports that as part of Britain's illegal regime change agenda, it had been training some Zimbabweans in acts of sabotage and violence."
"Zimbabwe will unconditionally take back all those returned from the UK"
and that those returned by the United Kingdom
"will be welcomed"
because he believed the earlier statement to reflect the true position. He referred to other hostile comments made by representatives of the Mugabe regime at about the same time.
"What inferences would you draw as to the risk to someone who had sought asylum in the UK and is transferred into CIO custody for questioning at the present date as opposed to July 2006"
Perhaps unsurprisingly in view of what is said above, it is the professor's view that such risk is enhanced because of the intensity of the humanitarian crisis, the CIO's total control of the airport, the revival of the youth militia, the asserted link between opposition and civil society organisations and violence and the renewed insistence on the assertion of British subvention and control of these organisations.
"In short, conditions in Zimbabwe have evidently worsened sharply over the past year and particularly the last six months. More and more Zimbabweans have been defined as traitors and enemies, particularly those with international and especially British connections."
"Mugabe genuinely hates the UK, which he believes is the major player in attempts to overthrow him. He blames the UK for influencing the European Union and the United States against his regime. He makes hate filled speeches against Britain and there is real venom in his voice. He hates the British government. He refers to the Cabinet as the "gay gangsters" on the basis that there have been out homosexuals in the Cabinet [sic]. Before the travel ban was imposed, he loved to go to Harrods and his inability to do so really angers him. The travel ban on Mugabe and the senior ZANU people really hurts and angers him."
"However, the CIO take-over [of immigration control at Harare airport] has consequences for Zimbabweans returning from Britain. It has been clear for some time that "failed" asylum seekers, deported from the UK, will be automatically drawn to the attention of the CIO at the airport. Now, every returnee, including voluntary ones, will be subject to CIO scrutiny."
The professor made clear in his oral evidence that such returnees who were not failed asylum seekers would be subject to "CIO scrutiny" but not to "CIO interrogation".
The evidence of Witness 66
"My area of expertise is not the treatment of involuntary returnees."
"The main political threat to the Government, however, is still the MDC (even though it has been weakened since it split in late 2005) and therefore the organisation which bears the brunt of its violence, particularly during elections. For all these reasons the position of asylum seekers has to be assessed within the current lawless climate in Zimbabwe."
"There can be little doubt that any Zimbabwean, whether directly or indirectly involved in anti government activity, is now regarded as a legitimate target for physical attack. I would go further and say that anyone who is perceived as not being loyal to the regime is also in danger. "
The evidence of Witness 69
"I have been told that the Home Office state that "The Zimbabwean Government's stated policy is that it will unconditionally welcome all deportees and that the source for this statement appears to be press coverage of the Tribunal's ruling last summer which attributes comments to Chinamasa that asylum seekers will be welcomed with "open arms", that there was "never a genuine reason to justify them seeking asylum in Britain" and "These are people who were incited by the British to leave Zimbabwe for political reasons". I consider the proposition that all deportees from the UK will be welcomed unconditionally to be hogwash. It is not credible that asylum seekers returned from the UK will be unconditionally welcomed by the CIO, state police and militia, and ZANU-PF. What form would this welcome take? I remain of the clear view as I indicate in my statement that they would be viewed as sell outs and treated accordingly."
"Given the poisoned atmosphere, and given the mistrust, the CIO will be all the more interested in interrogating returned asylum seekers to find out what they have been up to. They have been told these people are traitors."
Procedures at the airport: W5 and W6
87. The next witness, Witness 6, who has also been granted refugee status in the United Kingdom, was a sergeant or section leader with the military intelligence branch of the CIO based at Harare airport for two and a half years until 1996. His role was to check upon passengers passing through the airport. In the witness statement which he adopted as part of his evidence he began by saying this:
"I set out below in outline, the procedures that applied (and that, I believe, still apply) when a Zimbabwean citizen is deported back to Zimbabwe from another country. These are standard and longstanding procedures. I am in regular touch with former colleagues who still work at the airport, and I have no reason to believe that these procedures have changed significantly. These procedures would also apply where a person had been identified from the passenger manifest and was of interest."
88. Witness 6 said that the deportee would be interviewed initially at the airport by a team comprising representatives of the military, the police and the CIO. He explained that in fact each is a branch of the CIO but the term "CIO" is used to distinguish the internal security branch, whereas the nature of the other two relevant branches, the police and military intelligence, is obvious from its name. He continued :
"In the interview room, each agency would interview the deportee about any issues of concern they might have. For example, the police would interview the deportee about any criminal matters that might be outstanding, the military about whether the deportee was a former soldier and any issues about being absent without leave or having conducted military activities outside Zimbabwe, and the CIO would check for any political activities.
Once it was decided which agency would have custody of the deportee, the deportee would be taken by that agency for interrogation with the benefit of the report of the agency that had led the airport interview."
In his oral evidence this witness made clear, as did Witness 5, that not all deportees were taken away by one of the three agencies for interrogation. He said "It depends how valuable the subject is whether they were taken away". When a person is released that was not the end of it as there would be monitoring in the persons home area.
89. This witness said that there was a significant difference between an interview and an interrogation. He knew what went on at the interrogation stage because a former colleague who currently works in army counter intelligence central administration had seen reports of such interrogations. In his witness statement he said:
"It should be understood that there is a significant difference between a person being interviewed (eg on arrival at the airport), and a person being interrogated. Within the Zimbabwean intelligence community, the implication of a person having been interrogated (and hence an interrogation report) is that the interrogated person will have been ill-treated."
And in his oral evidence:
"There is not an interrogation at the airport, just an interview. I took part. That's why I was there, to interview. When the detainee was taken away from the airport he is handed over to somebody else."
90. Witness 6 said that the approach to those being returned from the United Kingdom was based not just upon the initial interview but was intelligence led. People working with the London Embassy were recruited from the Zimbabwean community in the United Kingdom. Intelligence was collected and sent back to Harare:
"People in Harare are well briefed by people in London so they know who they are interested in. If you do any activities in the UK you put yourself in a situation. This is so we have a record to be used – to be a member of this organisation in London – you must be monitored. I know that because that is what happened when I worked at the airport."
91. Finally, this witness made clear that the sifting nature of the initial interview is genuine and is conducted professionally. Information that might give rise to suspicion is not fabricated in order to justify further enquiry:
"The questioning at the airport was intelligence led. We knew something about it. Our purpose was to produce a true and good report. We were not trying to cook up a case. We do not cook up intelligence."
"As I told the Tribunal when I gave oral evidence, during such interviews at the airport, there would be abuse but not torture. Anyone who was of sufficient interest to be questioned for say an hour or more would be liable to abuse. People would be beaten but not too hard because it was not discreet enough. If the person was worth more effort then he would be taken away from the airport for questioning and torture."
"It would be quite common for a deportee to be roughed up during interview. They would be kicked, hit and slapped in order to intimidate them and make them too frightened to lie. I have seen this hitting and kicking at the airport. Whatever agency was leading one of these interviews of a deportee at the airport, there would be likely to be some roughing up. There is a tradition of that sort of abuse."
Q. "Anyone who was of sufficient interest to be questioned for say an hour or so would be liable to abuse." Does that mean that if you weren't questioned for an hour or so you were not liable to abuse?
A. No, no, no. That's not the case; its just the person himself. Some people when you just say, "Have a seat here" automatically prepared just to say, within to or three minutes, then there are some people who are prepared, who can resist; so, you know when such people end up abusing.
Q. Why would someone who is not of interest, either to the police or the CIO or the army service, why would such a person like that be abused at the airport?
A. Oh, actually I think the problem is you are in a first world country. You are talking about a third world country, whereby, you know, abuse is like our daily bread, because we want things as soon as possible you know, so we can call somebody – if we called you, "Sit here" so of an aggressive nature you see, so it end up abusing the person."
And, once W6 had agreed that not everyone passing through the airport was liable to be the subject of abuse, he was asked who would be at risk. W6 said that it depends upon the interest in that person. But, if someone facing simple questions tried to resist or was awkward, for example by saying "I know my rights. I'm not supposed to be asked," then they would be liable to be abused.
"When posted to Mozambique and Matabeleland I did not use torture although I was present when electric shocks were used. I used to get complaints that my interrogations took much longer to produce reports because I used different techniques other than torture. My colleagues who used to torture produced reports much more quickly"
"My former colleague who currently works in Army Counter Intelligence central administration has confirmed to me that he has seen reports of interrogations of returning Zimbabweans who had sought asylum in the UK. It should be understood that there is a significant difference between a person being interviewed (e.g. on arrival at the airport) and a person being interrogated. Within the Zimbabwean Intelligence community the implication of a person having been interrogated (and hence an interrogation report) is that the interrogated person will have been ill treated. I am not able to give the names of my informants, and they are not willing to give a statement even anonymously, as it would put them in danger."
"I asked how was the airport these days and received: we've got some interrogation reports coming from the interrogation department. But of course I won't discuss it too deep because of the security of the police."
"He was just saying that they are receiving interrogation report from the airport, from people who were coming from this country, going to Zimbabwe."
Mr Kovats persisted, saying that he was trying to find out exactly what W6 was told:
"It was about interrogation reports from people, failed asylum, coming from UK, passing through Harare airport"
A. Well, it says they do the same procedure, but they got more space, so by more space it means they might change some of the techniques.
Q. The extent of your knowledge is, same procedure, more space?
A. Yes, but you can always evaluate it, it was every month you had a security threat, so that you can adjust it.
"There is now a much larger international airport, and as I told the Tribunal a year ago when I gave oral evidence, the actual procedure may have expanded in the new airport where there are better facilities. They may now have cells. My friend has said that there is "enough space" now and the CIO facility is further away from the passenger facilities."
"… the staff of, let us say, Air Zimbabwe, the staff will tell us. Even the pilots will tell us. We have got what you call, those who put fuel, the jet fuel in the plane. They will know he is on board and we have got those who clean the airplane, we know to talk to those, everyone. Even the staff of the airline, even it – when a plane arrives at the airport that is staff of Air Zimbabwe put more food on the plane…."
"What have I learnt about developments in the CIO since I left? Well there are so many sources of information. I still have friends in the army, police in the CIO itself. And just to speak to other people who were in the CIO but who have got, I can say maybe experts, like journalists and so forth as well as the newspapers, like foreign language newspapers, there are loads of language newspapers in Zimbabwe, so there is quite a lot of information."
257. … Witness 5 was recognised as a refugee after he came to the United Kingdom in June 1998. He had been a Lieutenant Colonel working with the CIO, attached to the military intelligence branch, known as Branch 3. Between 1991 and May 1998 he was based at the school for military intelligence in Harare but from around 1993 until May 1998 he was Adjutant to the NCOs carrying out day to day security procedures at the airport. This meant that those NCOs were under his command.
258. Witness 5 left Zimbabwe before the new airport terminal had been opened but he says that he knows from those still working at the new airport that procedures have changed only in that security measures have become even more stringent.
259. Dealing first with "ordinary travellers", Witness 5 explained that the CIO would receive the passenger manifest in advance, from which they would identify those travellers they were interested in and these people would be approached after they had passed the immigration desk but before they collected their luggage. Then, at the old airport, there were no real facilities for interrogations to be carried out and so the passenger would be taken away to CIO headquarters.
260. Sometimes an immigration officer would refer a passenger to the CIO. When this happened the person would be questioned at the airport by representatives of the security services present at the airport. If found to be of interest he or she would be taken either by the CIO to headquarters, by the police to the police station or by the military intelligence branch to the barracks on the outskirts of the city.
261. Witness 5 told us that during the time he was in Zimbabwe they never saw any returned asylum seekers from the United Kingdom but he confirmed what he had said in his statement how other deportees, mainly from South Africa, were dealt with. After the pilot had handed the passport to the immigration officer the deportee would be taken to a separate room until all the other travellers had been processed after which they would be handed over to the CIO.
262. Witness 5 has kept in touch with an old friend from military intelligence in Harare, Major [ ], who is based at the airport today. When they spoke on the telephone in mid 2005 they discussed the proceedings that had been brought in the High Court. In his witness statement Witness 5 said this:
"Major [ ] told me that all the returned asylum seekers are questioned because they are all considered to be a security risk. It is believed by the security services that the returned asylum seekers have been trained in military procedures and espionage in the UK and are now being sent back to destabilise the country. He told me they are all handed over to the CIO who carry out thorough questioning and then decide what is to be done. Major [ ] went on to tell me that those asylum seekers who are released are nonetheless kept under surveillance."
And the Tribunal concluded from this evidence:
"Thus, it is clear that there has always been and continues to be a screening process carried out at the airport. All deportees will be questioned to see if there is any reason to pursue the enquiry further and it is only those in respect of whom something of interest arises from this initial interview, or from intelligence received before arrival, who will be taken away for interrogation. We consider it significant that this witness, as do others, distinguishes between an interview or questioning at the airport and the "interrogation" that is conducted of those taken away from the airport. Witness 5 said that he had never seen anyone being tortured at the airport, although he added that there was limited space at the old airport."
"The CIO might take the lead in interviews at the airport or he might be interviewed first by the police and then passed on to the CIO. There were no facilities at the old airport to carry out any proper interrogation and for this reason I would be surprised if someone was subjected to proper torture at the airport. However, "low level" ill-treatment where someone was roughed up a bit in the office was of course possible. I did not witness questioning at the old airport because I was not doing that work although I had administrative responsibility for the operatives who worked there.
However, I would not be at all surprised that someone being interviewed by the CIO was roughed up in their office. People have grown up in a violent society from colonial times. Slapping and kicking is common so I certainly would not doubt that people being questioned by the CIO were treated like that at the old airport. I would not call that torture - it is not something to write home about. It is viewed as quite a low key in Zimbabwe. Someone who has this roughing up would never try to complain. They would think themselves lucky and would want to ensure that they avoided the real torture that would likely ensue if they made a fuss about it."
"All operational matters, there is forms that we would use where people are writing intelligence reports that will end up with a comment or assessment of a situation."
"We question them thoroughly."
"I think he was only referring to those who might be of interest to the CIO, the police or the military.
I think, from my experience, those people who are questioned are those people who have been identified already, who they want to speak to."
Q. And what did he tell you happened to passengers at the airport?
A. He told me about the questioning, because when the deportations started it became big news everywhere, so I was just asking for interest's sake. And then he told me that they do thorough checks there.
Q. And did this con(versation) take place in English or Shona?
A. It took place in both English and Shona. Because in my dialect we usually mix English and Shona. (Major used Shona phrase meaning thorough questioning)
Q Is there any particular reason why the Major did not use the word "interrogation" or indeed the word "interview"?
A It means one and the same thing as far as I understand it, from the Shona perspective.
"[The Major] used a Shona phrase which means "thorough questioning". What was meant by that phrase was clear to me as a former intelligence officer: he meant an interrogation such that would be expected to be accompanied by ill-treatment and torture. Interrogation at the hands of the CIO is routinely supported by the use of torture."
"In the UK I am chairperson of the Hertfordshire branch of the MDC… I know most of the top leadership in the UK with whom I have worked together for many years. My late cousin brother was the national chairman.
I am also a commentator on Zimbabwean issues, especially military, security and policing issues on SW Radio Africa. That is a short wave radio station which is based in the UK and broadcasts to Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwean regime attempts to jam it … the station's journalists are banned from Zimbabwe. "
The evidence concerning individual returnees
"It was not A's case that an inference of ill-treatment should be drawn simply from the lack of information about a returnee. However, there was plainly no basis to draw the contrary inference (that lack of information was evidence of safety).
It followed that when the AIT stated that "At its highest this evidence can only demonstrate that a very small minority of the 210 failed asylum seekers returned involuntarily may have been subjected to ill-treatment", it was not intending to suggest that an inference of safety should be drawn in relation to those returnees about whom no information was available. If it did intend to compare the total number of cases about which the information indicated ill-treatment on return with the total number of returnees rather than with the total number about which anything was known, it erred. Such an approach could only be sustained if there was a finding that those about whom no information could be obtained were more likely to have returned safely."
"I learnt of the case through a female friend of [R22] in the UK who herself learnt the information not from [R22] but from [R22]'s mother …. My contact in the UK merely passed on the limited information she had gleaned from the mother".
We do not know who this friend is or whether she is to be regarded as independent. If her own immigration status is unresolved she may herself have an interest in the outcome of these proceedings.
"… is not ok; so many people are being arrested; people have fear; there is so much intimidation."
But this appears to relate to country conditions generally rather than the risk faced by failed asylum seekers, on that account alone, returned from the United Kingdom to Zimbabwe.
"The Court considers that where an individual is taken into police custody in good health but is found to be injured at the time of release, it is incumbent on the State to provide a plausible explanation of how those injuries were caused, failing which a clear issue arises under Article 3 of the Convention."
In Balough v Hungary 47940/99  ECHR 361:
"… it was difficult for a victim to prove that he had been subjected to police brutality in custody. For that reason, it was for the Government to provide a plausible explanation for his injuries and to prove that its agents were not responsible for those injuries."
And in Adan, Limbuela and Tesema, quoting with approval what was said in Pretty v United Kingdom 35 EHRR 1:
"As regards the types of "treatment" which fall within the scope of article 3 of the Convention, the court's case law refers to "ill-treatment" that attains a minimum level of severity and involves actual bodily injury or intense physical or mental suffering. Where treatment humiliates or debases an individual showing a lack of respect for, or diminishing, his or her human dignity or arouses feelings of fear, anguish or inferiority capable of breaking an individual's moral and physical resistance, it may be categorised as degrading and also fall within the prohibition of article 3….."
"The Court emphasises that, in respect of a person deprived of his liberty, any recourse to physical force which has not been made strictly necessary by his own conduct diminishes human dignity and is in principle an infringement of the right set forth in Article 3 of the Convention."
"The way in which this article is written demonstrates that its purpose is not to set out an objectively balanced assessment of the account but is clearly intended to fulfil a journalistic point. It is not possible to identify the true identity of this person and so the respondent has no opportunity of establishing that such a person was removed at all."
"Had problems because escorts told immigration officials that he was being escorted (unnecessary because had valid passport). Immigration questioned him on where he lived, wrote it down and asked why he was being deported."
"because of the dangers to which his activism had exposed him M was sent to the United Kingdom on an exchange programme".
He did not make a claim for asylum in the United Kingdom. He was arrested as an overstayer in June 2003 and deported back to Zimbabwe. On arrival the immigration officer appeared to be expecting him because having looked at M's passport he made a telephone call and M was taken to a room. Another telephone call was made and two men arrived, introducing themselves as coming from the President's office. We know from other evidence that CIO officers sometimes introduce themselves in that way.
"I do not think they believed it. Nor the CIO operators on the ground."
Summary of conclusions
Signed Date: 9th November 2007
Senior Immigration Judge SouthernANNEX 1
REASONS FOR THE DECISION THAT THERE IS AN ERROR OF LAW
IN THE DETERMINATION
1. Reconsideration has been ordered of the decision of Immigration Judge Foudy who, by a determination dated 31st March 2006, allowed the appellant's appeal against a decision of the respondent made on 13th February 2006 that the appellant should be removed from the United Kingdom as an illegal entrant after her asylum and human rights claims had been refused.
2. The appellant, who is a citizen of Zimbabwe, was born on 23rd June 1965. She arrived in the United Kingdom on 11th May 2002 and was granted leave to enter as a visitor for six months. She then sought to secure further leave to remain in various capacities, including as a highly skilled migrant on the basis of being a fully qualified medical doctor. It was after those applications were refused that the appellant claimed asylum on the basis of being at risk on return because of her support for the MDC and because of what she had done in the course of her employment as a hospital doctor.
3. The immigration judge rejected as untrue the whole factual basis of the appellant's claim to be at risk in Zimbabwe and the appellant's representative does not seek to challenge those findings. It is unambiguously clear from the determination that the immigration judge would have dismissed the appeal if she had not been bound to follow the then binding country guidance case of AA (Involuntary returns to Zimbabwe) CG  UKAIT 00144.
4. It is now agreed between the parties that, although the immigration judge cannot possibly be criticised for having allowed the appeal on this basis, she was in fact wrong in law to do so. This is because that country guidance case was itself found to be wrongly decided by the Court of Appeal in AA & LK v SSHD  EWCA Civ 401. This means that any appeal allowed solely in reliance upon it is also materially wrong in law and cannot stand. See: OM (AA(1) wrong in law) Zimbabwe CG  UKAIT 00077.
5. That being the case the decision to allow the appeal cannot stand and shall be set aside. The Tribunal must now substitute a fresh decision to allow or dismiss the appeal.
6. But that cannot be done today. The Tribunal must consider the appellant's position in the light of the current objective country evidence. The Tribunal is aware of the extremely fluid country conditions in Zimbabwe which might be thought to have deteriorated significantly in some respects since the appeal came before the immigration judge a year ago. This may or may not be relevant to the appellant's human rights claim. The appellant's representatives wish to have the opportunity of putting forward up to date objective evidence and to advance those arguments and, in view of the overriding objective of fairness set out in the Procedure Rules, it is right that they should be able to do so.
7. But there is no reason at all to disturb the unchallenged findings of fact made by the immigration judge and set out between paragraphs 13 and 18 of the determination. This means that the issues at large at the second stage reconsideration hearing shall be limited to submissions upon the appellant's position on return to Zimbabwe in the light of the current objective country evidence in addition to any recent expert evidence the appellant's representatives may wish to rely upon.
Findings of fact made by the immigration judge and set out between paragraphs 13-18 of her determination
1. I accept that the Appellant is a Zimbabwean national because she has been consistent in this part of her claim and she entered the UK on a valid Zimbabwean passport. The Respondent accepts the nationality of the Appellant.
2. I also accept that the Appellant is not willing to return to Zimbabwe voluntarily. She gave that evidence before me and I also find that her history of making several applications to enter and remain in the UK are further evidence of her unwillingness to return to her home country.
3. I accept that the Appellant is a qualified doctor because she has been consistent in this part of her claim and the Respondent takes no issue on her occupation.
4. I do not find it credible that the Appellant was involved, either personally or through her family, in supporting the MDC for the following reasons:
a) the Appellant stated in her interview that her father had been a member of the MDC since 1998 (Q18). She also stated that when she returned to Zimbabwe from Germany (and she returned in 1998) there was a new party that was promising change, namely the MDC (Qs 17). However I find that the CIPU report records that the MDC was not formed until September 1999 ... CIPU paragraph 4.10 and Annex A). The Appellant claims now that her answer was misunderstood and that she had meant to explain that her Father supported the trade union movement whose leaders went on to form the MDC. If that is the case, I find it incredible that the Appellant did not simply give that account in her interview. She is a clearly intelligent woman with an exceptional command of English. It was a simple matter for her to say in interview that her father supported the trade unionists that were opposing the government and that when they helped to form the MDC he followed them. However her answers in interview were clear and unambiguous statements that in 1998 the MDC had already been formed. That is, I find, the only logical way to interpret her reference to her own interest in 1998 in "the new party that promised to effect change" (Q17).
b) In oral evidence the Appellant stated that prior to the formation of the MDC her father had been an active trade unionist. That was also the account in her rebuttal statement of 8th March 2006 (Appellant bundle page 9, paragraph 8). However the Appellant made no reference to those activities in her first statement or in her interview. I find that if the Appellant 's father had genuinely been involved as an active trade unionist the Appellant it is not credible that the Appellant failed to mention those activities earlier in her asylum claim.
c) The Appellant claimed that she participated in a strike in August 1999 and that in November 1999 she found that a snake had been placed at her door. She assumed that the CIO had placed the snake there to frighten her as she had participated in the strike. I find that, whilst it is credible that the Appellant found a snake at her door, it is not credible that it was deliberately placed there by the CIO because of her strike action. I find that the objective evidence shows that the CIO acts in swift and, at times, brutal fashion therefore it would be highly unlikely to be so reticent as to wait 3 months before taking any action against a government employee that it disfavoured. Furthermore, the Appellant has not claimed that any arrests were made at the strike, or thereafter, and no other participants appear to have received the same treatment as the Appellant. I therefore find it incredible that the snake was connected to the CIO as the Appellant claims;
d) the Appellant claims that the last event that triggered her flight from Zimbabwe was when she took photographs of a beaten patient and the youth militiamen confiscated the camera and threatened her. In her first statement the Appellant clearly stated that her sole intention was to document the patient's injuries for his medical file (Respondent bundle page B6, paragraph 19). However in interview the Appellant changed her account markedly to claim that she intended to send the photographs to the Amani Trust Respondent bundle page C20, Q 107). I find that the Amani Trust is a human rights organisation in Zimbabwe. It is quite incredible that the Appellant ever intended to send photographs of a beaten patient to the Amani Trust when she would not even join the MDC because to be found with a membership card would jeopardise her career (Respondent bundle page B2, paragraph 6). It is yet more incredible when compared with her first account, which stated plainly that the Appellant took the photographs "purely to document it in the patient's file," (Respondent bundle page B6, paragraph 19). I find that these important inconsistencies are a clear indication of the incredible nature of the Appellant 's claim;
e) if, as the Appellant claims, she left Zimbabwe in fear of her life, it is incredible that she did not claim asylum on arrival here. Instead she stated that she was a genuine visitor. The Appellant must, therefore, have indicated that she intended to leave the UK within 6 months of her arrival, when she did not have that intention. At best, the Appellant had a vague hope that the political situation in Zimbabwe might change at some time in the future; that is not consistent with a settled intention to leave the UK within 6 months. Furthermore, the Appellant made two further applications to remain in the UK, neither of which revealed that she had an asylum claim. It was not until the all the Appellant's application to remain for professional purposes failed, and after a period of living in the UK without any leave, that she finally claimed asylum. I find that those are not the actions of a genuine refugee and add considerable evidence to the asylum claim being an incredible one;
f) the delay that the Appellant made in claiming asylum is even more incredible when one considers that she was in close contact with her brother, whose own asylum claim was granted in March 2004. In oral evidence the Appellant actually stated that her brother suggested that she claim asylum when he did but she did not do so as she was reluctant to accept that she could not return to Zimbabwe. I do not find it at all credible that an intelligent woman with the fears the Appellant claims she had would delay as long as this Appellant did in making her asylum claim.
5. Section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc) Act 2004 requires me to take account of certain behaviour as damaging the credibility of the Appellant. In accordance with section 8 I have taken into account as damaging to the Appellant's credibility the following behaviour of the Appellant :
(a) entering the UK as a visitor as behaviour designed or likely to conceal information;
(b) failing in her previous immigration applications to reveal that she was in need of international protection as behaviour designed or likely to mislead;
(c) The gross delay in making her asylum claim as behaviour designed or likely to obstruct or delay the handling or resolution of his claim or the taking of a decision in relation to the claimant.
Furthermore, in respect of those behaviours set out at (a), (b) and (c) above, I find that the Appellant has failed to provide a reasonable explanation for the behaviour.
6. Given my findings, the issue of internal relocation is redundant.ANNEX 3
Schedule of documentary evidence submitted
All material in the public domain is identified in the form in which it is publicly available. No conclusion should be drawn from the presence of or absence from the list of material in this schedule as to the identity of any source mentioned to in the determination
Appellant's Volume A
|NCA members arrested again! - Zimbabwe Peace Project||14/7/07|
|Zimbabwe: Abusive policies disrupt progress on HIV/AIDS
Human Rights Watch (HRW)
|No help for Zimbabwe's homeless, BBC News||30/8/06|
|Outrage at Zimbabwe bugging plan, BBC News||31/8/06|
|Food Aid Report: September 2006 - Zimbabwe Peace Project||Sep 2006|
|Commission blames state agents for MP's assault, ZimOnline||21/9/06|
|Zim union men 'deserved beating', BBC News||25/9/06|
|Police Brutality Victim Speaks Out, Dzikamai Chidyausike in Harare, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (AR No.77, 27-Sep-06)||27/9/06|
|Zim says unionists injured themselves, Mail & Guardian (SA)||6/10/06|
|Shock secret DVD captures brutal torture of unionists, Zimbabwe Online||11/10/06|
|Zimbabwe prisons 'embarrassing', BBC News||16/10/06|
|Mugabe's CIOs infiltrate church and donor organizations in S.A. By Tererai Karimakwenda, SW Radio Africa||17/11/06|
|Hunger will finish us off, say elderly and handicapped, Zimbabwe Peace Project||22/11/06|
|Don't cry when state responds, Harare warns protesters, Zimbabwe Online,||23/11/06|
|"Who guards the guards?" Violations by Law Enforcement Agencies in Zimbabwe, 2000-2006 Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum||Dec 2006|
|Images of injuries sustained during beatings by the Police, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)||4/12/06|
|Zanu thugs attack MDC members in UK, Movement for Democratic Change||4/12/06|
|Politically motivated violence against women escalates in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum||8/12/06|
|Prisoners fume over toil on govt officials' farms
Lucia Makamure, The Zimbabwe Independent
|Zimbabwe police 'brutality rises', BBC News||14/12/06|
|Statement on the attempted assassination of NCA National Chairperson, Dr Lovemore Madhuku National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)||2/1/07|
|Police brutality at Mabvuku police station, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)||2/1/07|
|Worst agricultural year since Independence, Augustine Mukaro, The Independent (Zimbabwe)||5/1/07|
|Zimbabwe opposition faction says party infiltrated by state agents Zim Online||5/1/06|
|Continued impunity by state-sanctioned actors, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)||12/1/07|
|Severe hunger looms for Zimbabwe, BBC News||26/1/07|
|Tsunga detained at the airport, released after interrogation, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition||26/1/07|
|Zimbabwe cartoon's bullet warning, BBC News||1/2/07|
|Army forces research institutions to grow maize, ZimOnline||5/2/07|
|ZESN condemns politicisation of food aid, Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)||9/2/07|
|"You will know them by their fruits": Is Zimbabwe's CIO involved in the MDC split? Sokwanele Report:||10/2/06|
|Happy Birthday, Robert Mugabe, Wilf Mbanga, Open Democracy||21.2.07|
|"Arnold Tsunga detained at airport", OSISA (Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa),||Mar 2007|
|Aid halted over 'Zanusation' of food, Herbert Dapi, The Zimbabwean||1/3/07|
|Mujuru has destroyed own succession bid - Mugabe, Zimbabwe Independent, Dumisani Muleya||2/3/07|
|Mugabe purges security forces, Zimbabwe online||9/3/07|
|SCMZ leadership arrested by armed police at a female capacity building workshop in Harare, Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe (SCMZ)||11/3/07|
|ZESN condemns politicisation of food in Harare, Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)||12/3/07|
|State warns MDC against lawlessness, The Herald (Zimbabwe)||13.3.07|
|Tsvangirai describes savage police beating, Times online||14/3/07|
|Right of reply to the UNHRC on the Zimbabwe crisis, Government of Zimbabwe||14/3/07|
|Opposition forces in Zimbabwe, A trail of Violence, 1 January to 15 March 2007, Zimbabwe Republic Police||Undated (Mar)|
|Opposition forces in Zimbabwe, The naked truth, Volume 2, Zimbabwe Republic Police||Undated (Mar)|
|Zimbabwean police 'fire-bombed', BBC News||15/3/07|
|Rising frustration brings hardening attitudes, IRIN News||16/3/07|
|"Zimbabwe stops activists leaving", BBC News||18/3/07|
|Political violence, torture and beatings, Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ) Weekly Media Update 2007-9 Monday March 5th 2007 - Sunday March 11th 2007||18/3/07|
|Police beatings - what really happened, top journalist speaks, Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi||18/3/07|
|"Mugabe critic is beaten up at airport to silence plea for world help", The Times||19/3/07|
|Statement on the violent attack on Nelson Chamisa MP on Sunday 18 March 2007Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum||19/3/07|
|Police defend Zimbabwe travel ban, BBC News||19/3/07|
|Reporters without Borders, "Intelligence agency and media commission help torpedo remaining independent news media",||19/3/07|
|Zimbabwe threatens diplomats with expulsion, The Independent (London)||20/3/07|
|Zimbabwe's crackdown widens to reach opposition grass roots Michael Wines, New York Times||20/3/07|
|Amnesty International, "Zimbabwe: Open letter from AI's Secretary General Irene Khan to President Robert Mugabe", Public Statement||20/3/07|
|International Bar Association, "Zimbabwe: Violence and Threats against Lawyers Condemned by the IBA", Press Release||21/3/07|
|Zimbabwe's crisis 'like Titanic', BBC News||21/3/07|
|My wife, Sekai Holland, battered by Mugabe's thugs, Save Zimbabwe Campaign||21/3/07|
|Mourners assaulted and ZUPCO bus vandalized - The true story, Peter Bhokosi, Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)||22/3/07|
|"Mugabe seizes passports from opposition activists", The Independent,||26/3/07|
|Angola sends 2500 'ninjas' to Zimbabwe", Sydney Morning Herald||22/3/07|
|Trainee journalist arrested for asking pesky questions, Zim Online||23/3/07|
|A Criminal State, A statement and brief chronicle of events in Zimbabwe 18 February- 22 March, Solidarity Peace Trust||24/3/07|
|Amnesty International, "Zimbabwe: Calls for investigation into killing of activist and release of peaceful protestors", Press Release||12/3/07|
|More violence possible, analysts warn IRIN News||26/3/07|
|"CIO replace immigration officers", Zimbabwe Independent||26/3/07|
|The food situation in Zimbabwe 2007, Renson Gasela, MDC Secretary for Lands and Agriculture||26/3/07|
|"Zimbabwe Crisis: Commons Statement", Foreign Office Minister Ian McCartney,||26/3/07|
|Petition on health and human rights violations in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR)
|"Zimbabwe's Tsvangirai 'arrested'", BBC News,||28/3/07|
|Human Rights Watch, "Zimbabwe: Security Forces Extend Crackdown to Public", Press Release,||28/3/07|
|Amnesty International, "Zimbabwe: End harassment, torture and intimidation of opposition activists", Press Release,||28/3/07|
|Tankers petrol bombed in eastern Zimbabwe, state media reports, Monsters and Critics||29/3/07|
|Zimbabwe: Trouble in the Neighbourhood" and "Zimbabwe: How to put it together again ?as the Mugabe regime totters", Africa Confidential,||30/3/07|
|Mugabe rival 'asked for beating', BBC News||30/3/07|
|"Briefing. Robert Mugabe. The man behind the fist", The Economist||31/3/07|
|Chris McGreal, "President wins Zanu-PF backing to fight election", The Guardian||31/3/07|
|Their words condemn them: The language of violence, intolerance and despotism in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum||April 2007|
|Creating a climate that justifies full-scale repression
Comment, The Standard (Zimbabwe)
|Zim police detain scores of teenagers, Mail & Guardian (South Africa)||1.4.07|
|Teacher challenge Mugabe insult charges in Supreme Court, Zim Standard||1.4.07|
|"Freed on bail, journalist immediately hospitalized because of beatings in police custody", Reporters sans Frontieres||6.4.07|
|How Mugabe's violence will free us, Wilf Mbanga, The New Statesman||2.4.07|
Appellant's Volume B
|Report by Witness 66||24.6.07|
|Expert report by Professor T. Ranger||25.6.07|
|Case specific report by Professor T. Ranger||25.6.07|
|Report of Norma Kriger (approved by email)||8.7.07|
|Report of Witness 67 (approved by email)||9.7.07|
Respondent's Volume C
|IOM report 1 August 2006 to February 2007|
|IOM questionnaire database August 2006 - February 2007|
|Memorandum of Understanding respondent & IOM||August 2006|
|Draft amendment of MOU||Undated|
|Series of interview reports with NGOs and others collected by British Embassy Harare|
|Agence France Presse "Britain wins right to deport failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe"||2.8.06|
|South African Independent Online: "We will welcome deportees with open arms"||3.8.06|
|The Herald: "Howard a shameless racist"||16.2.07|
|The Herald: "real terrorists unmasked"||20.2.07|
|Guardian Unlimited: "US reveals its efforts to topple Mugabe regime"||6.4.07|
|US Fed newsfeed- Voice of America: "US rejects Zimbabwe terror allegations, deplores continuing political violence"||10.4.07|
|The Herald: "West's hidden hand exposed"||19.4.07|
|SW Radio Africa News: "Police claim South Africa is training MDC activists in terrorism"||20.4.07|
|The Herald: "Racists behind boycott calls"||9.5.07|
|The Herald: "Zim, ICC rap Australia"||14.5.07|
|The Herald: "US steps up anti-Zim drive"||15.5.07|
|The Herald: "Howard's decision disgusting"||15.5.07|
|The Herald: "Australia: The most racist country"||18.5.07|
|The Herald: "Charity begins at home, Howard"||25.5.07|
|The Zimbabwe Independent: "Nothing racist about Australia's Zim policy"||1.6.07|
|PR-inside.com: "Mugabe says security forces on alert against Western-backed terror"||1.6.07|
|AllAfrica.com: "Zimbabwe: SA Meets Pressure Groups in Harare."||13.6.07|
|The Herald: "Cops denied SA entry."||20.6.07|
|Country of Origin Information Service report on Zimbabwe||18.6.07|
|Draft Operational Guidance Note for Zimbabwe||July 07|
Appellant's Volume D
|Expert report of Professor Ranger||28/07/05|
|Supplementary expert report of Professor Ranger||02/08/05|
|Expert report of Dr McGregor||02/08/05|
|Extract, FCO Annual Review||Jul 2005|
|Extract, minutes of the 4th meeting of the Advisory Panel on Country Information||08/03/05|
|HO response to APCI comments on the Oct 2004 CIPU report||Undated|
|Email, Army Headquarters Land Command||03/03/05|
|Jack Straw (HC, 9WS)||14/06/05|
|Charles Clarke (HC, Col 1028)||27/06/05|
|Charles Clarke (HC, Col 1034)||27/06/05|
|Baroness Scotland (HL, Col 25 - 32)||27/06/05|
|Ian Pearson (HC, Col 1123-1125||27/06/05|
|Ian Pearson (HC, Col 1779W)||20/07/05|
|Letter, UNHCR to RLC||27/07/05|
|Letter, Amnesty International to Rt Hon Charles Clarke MP||28/07/05|
|Amnesty report: Zimbabwe: human rights defenders under siege||10/05/05|
|New Zimbabwe (A Gestapo welcome for UK deportees)||02/03/05|
|The Times (Mugabe's regime lays waste?)||05/06/05|
|Extract, International Crisis Group Report (Post-election Zimbabwe?)||07/06/05|
|The Independent (Inside Zimbabwe)||10/06/05|
|The Sunday Times (Mugabe policy branded "new apartheid")||12/06/05|
|The Times (Misery in the ashes for shanty people?)||17/06/05|
|BBC News (Zimbabwe's human tragedy)||24/06/05|
|The Times (Wedding 'sting'?)||24/06/05|
|Extract, Solidarity Peace Trust report: (Discarding the filth)||27/06/05|
|The Independent (Zimbabwe's secret famine)||27/06/05|
|The Times (Archbishop attacks "immoral" deportations?)||28/06/05|
|The Times (An exceptional case)||29/06/05|
|IWPR (Urban demolition seen as retribution)||30/06/05|
|IWPR (Mass clearances hit smallest towns)||30/06/05|
|IWPR (Evicted urban poor held in camps)||30/06/05|
|The Times (Beaten and tortured?)||04/07/05|
|The Times (Proof of deportees' torture?)||05/07/05|
|The Observer (Britain sent me back to Mugabe?)||10/07/05|
|The Independent on Sunday (Tortured and dumped?)||13/07/05|
|Guardian (UN report damns Mugabe?)||23/07/05|
|Extract, Guardian (Mugabe is starving his own people)||28/07/05|
|Extract from Human Rights Watch Report - "Clear the Filth"||11/09/05|
|Extract from International Crisis Group Report||17/08/05|
|Guardian: Minister vows to rid Zimbabwe of "filth"||19/09/05|
|Zim On Line: Zimbabwe to introduce exit visas to rein in critics||14/09/05|
|Human Rights Watch: Mass evictions lead to massive abuses||11/09/05|
|BBC News: Close encounter with Zimbabwe's Secret Police||29/08/05|
|Voice for America: Survey finds 1.2 million hit by Zimbabwe clean up operation||23/08/05|
|SW Radio Africa: Youth militia joins City Police||22/08/05|
|BBC News: Living in fear after Harare evictions||29/08/05|
|IWPR: Harare descends into chaos||10/05/05|
|IRIN News: Government confirms probe into NGO activities/funding||02/05/05|
|The Guardian: Mugabe warns that Opposition Election victory will not be tolerated||30/03/05|
|The Guardian: Mugabe paints MDC as Blairite cronies||27/03/05|
|The Guardian: Vote for us or starve, Mugabe's Party tells villagers||26/03/05|
|IWPR: Mugabe set for "ugly" campaign||12/02/05|
|Items in The Observer regarding Gerald Muketiwa||13/01/02|
|Human Rights Watch, 'Zimbabwe: Evicted and Forsaken, Internally displaced persons in the aftermath of Operation Murambatsvina'||12/05|
|Human Rights Watch, 'Zimbabwe: Crackdown on the Press Intensifies'||9/2/06|
|BBC News 'Zimbabwe in meltdown - UN envoy'||8/12/05|
|BBC News 'Zimbabwe demolition images shown'||31/5/06|
|ZimOnline 'Zimbabwe prison chief says inmates virtually on death row'||7/2/06|
|ZimOnline 'Harare moves to set up law allowing passport seizures'||16/12/05|
|IRINnews.org 'Zimbabwe: NGO coalition calls on the ICC to intervene'||28/11/05|
|ZimOnline 'Zimbabwe accuses Britain of plotting to drag Harare to UN Security Council'||5/11/05|
|SW Radio Africa (UK) 'Torture cases on the rise in Zimbabwe'||2/6/06|
|Institute for War and Peace Reporting 'Mugabe moulds pliant judiciary'||31/5/06|
|ZimOnline 'Victorious Zimbabwe opposition party gears for protests'||22/5/06|
|Human Rights Watch 'World Report 2006: Zimbabwe'||18/1/06|
|ZWNEWS.com 'Zim as bad as it can get - UN'||1/1/06|
|The Zimbabwean 'News briefs' (Mugabe arms war vets, youths/ Torture cases increase)||11/5/06|
|The Zimbabwean 'Protestors will be shot - Mutasa'|
|Second supplementary report, Prof Ranger||8/6/06|
|article in The Zimbabwean||21/06/06|
|Amnesty International statement to 86th Session of the Council of IOM||20/11/03|
|Extract from Human Rights Watch statement to 90th Session of the Council of IOM||29/11-02/12/05|
|The Independent (Zimbabwe) - Murambatsvina still on||16/06/06|
|Zimbabwe Standard - Churches, Clergy in Mugabe's Pocket||19/06/06|
|The Times - Church of the Flunkey bolsters Mugabe's grip||11/06/06|
|Africa Reports - Mugabe's Day of Prayer||23/06/06|
|Africa Reports - Zimbabwe: Storm over Rights Commission||23/06/06|
|IRIN - Zimbabwe: Ruling party looks for spiritual support||26/06/06|
|SW Radio - Zimbabweans show their scars on world torture day||26/06/06|
|The Times - Zimbabwe police 'carried out torture on a massive scale'||26/06/06|
|The Times - When everything is illegal, a guilty conscience seeps into your dreams||27/06/06|