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26 August 2020

Front Line Defenders saddened by the passing of Patson Dzamara

Front Line Defenders has learnt with shock and great sadness about the death of Dr Patson Dzamara at the age of 34 as a result of colon cancer this morning on 26 August 2020. Patson Dzamara was well known to many of us in Front Line Defenders as a prominent and courageous human rights defender in Zimbabwe, and we had the privilege of welcoming him to Dublin in 2017 to participate in the Dublin Platform. He consistently spoke out against corruption and impunity in the Zimbabwean government, and took a brave stand against human rights abuses and leadership failure. The disappearance of his brother and human rights defender Itai Dzamara, abducted on 9 March 2015 and whose whereabouts are still unknown 5 years later, motivated his fight for democracy, social justice and human rights. Patson himself was abducted and tortured in 2016, held at gunpoint and told “You haven’t learnt and taken heed of how we treated your brother and now your time to learn is upon you”. Despite the severity of the threats against him, Patson continued unbowed in his fight for accountability and justice.