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Uniting Food, Farm and Hotel Workers World-Wide

Zimbabwe Farmworkers' Leader Abducted to 'Torture Center'

Posted to the IUF website 13-Jun-2008

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Gapwuz has informed the IUF that Edward Dzeka has been released from the ZANU (PF) militia camp.

On June 12, Edward Dzeka, area officer for the General Agriculture and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ) and Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), was picked up by suspected militia thugs of the ruling party ZANU (PF) and transported to what is described as a torture center near the town of Chegutu. Dzeka had previously been arrested on April 16 and was free on bail. He is also an elected councillor for the opposition MDC in Chegutu West.

Given the atrocious record of violence against GAPWUZ members and officers, the ZCTU and the MDC and its supporters, there is every reason to fear for Edward Dzeka's physical safety.

The IUF is calling for messages to the government of Zimbabwe demanding his immediate and unconditional release and guarantees of his physical and psychological wellbeing. You can fax a message to the government of Zimbabwe at the number indicated in the sample message below. We also encourage copies to the embassy of Zimbabwe in your country (a list of embassies is available online at http://zw.embassyinformation.com/?einfo). Please send copies of any messages you might send to the IUF secretariat.

Sample Message to President Mugabe

To: Mr. Robert G. Mugabe
President , Republic of Zimbabwe

Fax: +

Dear President Mugabe

Concerns: detention of Edward Dzeka

I have learned that Mr. Edward Dzeka, councillor in Chegutu West and an officer of GAPWUZ and the ZCTU, was picked up on June 12 by reported militia of ZANU (PF) and transported to what has been described as a 'torture center' near Chegutu. Given the record of violence against trade unionists and MDC members and activists, we fear for his safety, and hold the government responsible for Mr. Dzeka's safety and physical integrity. We call on your government to secure Mr. Dzeka's immediate release.

Yours sincerely

cc: the embassy of Zimbabwe in your country