On the heels of a recent decision to authorize the sale of diamonds from Zimbabwe's Marange fields, comes yet another devastating story of diamond mining and human rights abuses.
According to the BBC, torture camps have been discovered near the Marange diamond fields. Prisoners there originated as miners who either demanded "too much" money or tried mining independently. They are now forced to mine for free, beaten, brutalized by vicious dogs, and raped. Who runs these camps? Zimbabwe's police and military.
Despite the alleged submission of this report to the Zimbabwe government, action has yet to be taken in closing the camps. Disturbingly, one of the camps is settled just a mile away from the Mbada mine which is run by a friend of Zimbabwe's president Robert G. Mugabe begging questions of government involvement in the scandal.
Make President Mugabe end human rights abuse by demanding that diamond sales be halted until diamond mining related human rights abuses cease in Zimbabwe.
Human rights abuses have been part of diamond mining in Zimbabwe for far too long. The discovery of these torture camps, which have reportedly been open for three years, connected to the Marange diamond fields only goes to prove that Zimbabwe will not respond to warnings or selective bans.
Originally the Zimbabwe police were tasked with monitoring the camps and reducing the abuse surrounding them. However, the BBC has revealed that rather than stop violence in diamond fields, the police have become the perpetrators.
While diamonds are a precious commodity, the well-being of the men and women of Zimbabwe are far more important. It is time to send a strong message to President Mugabe and refuse to support any diamond mining in the country until the camps are closed and it can be proven that human rights abuses have ended.
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