PHR Action Center

Secretary Clinton, Save Lives in Zimbabwe

Ask Secretary of State Clinton to ensure that the health of the people of Zimbabwe remains paramount, and doesn't become a pawn in a political power struggle. Sign the petition, and PHR will deliver it to the State Department on your behalf.

In December 2008, a Physicians for Human Rights medical team witnessed the utter collapse of Zimbabwe's health system, once a model in southern Africa. In the report PHR calls for the urgent resolution of the political impasse in Zimbabwe, an emergency international health intervention equivalent to putting the health system into receivership, a UN Security Council referral to the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes against humanity, and a summit to address disruptions in HIV-AIDS and tuberculosis prevention and treatment.

The report preface—authored by Justice Richard Goldstone (former UN Chief Prosecutor), Mary Robinson (former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (world-reknowned human rights advocate)—accuses Zimbabwe's Mugabe regime of the systematic violation of a wide range of human rights, including the rights to life, health, food, water and work.

(For more information, read our full report as well as some of its coverage from the Associated Press, the BBC and others.)

Please sign the petition today.

Full Petition Text:

Dear Secretary of State Clinton,

Thank you for speaking out about the crisis in Zimbabwe during your confirmation hearings. We are deeply concerned at the utter collapse of the health system in Zimbabwe, facilitated by President Mugabe's regime of violence and neglect.

The epidemics of HIV/AIDS, cholera and TB currently raging in Zimbabwe pose threats to international peace and security in the region and beyond. The human toll is devastating, and requires an unprecedented international response.

We urge you to immediately consult with other Security Council members to assess all options for UN action to address the health crisis in Zimbabwe. This includes an innovative recommendation from the US-based NGO Physicians for Human Rights that the Security Council establish an independent entity to take over Zimbabwe's sanitation, water, and health care delivery systems.

More than 3000 people have died of cholera in Zimbabwe, and the contagion is spreading into neighboring countries. The world can not wait for the new political compromise to rescue a health system in utter collapse.

The democratization of health is critical to the health of democracies. Right now in Zimbabwe, both are in peril. The international community can no longer stand by while thousands die.

Please do everything in your power to save the health system in Zimbabwe today. The lives of millions and the future of the country depend on it.

Signed by:
[Your name]
[Your address]

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