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Stop blood Diamonds

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Zimbabwe's armed forces, under the control of President Robert Mugabe, are engaging in forced labor of children and adults and are torturing and beating local villagers on the diamond fields of Marange district. The military seized control of these diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe after killing more than 200 people in Chiadzwa, a previously peaceful but impoverished area, in late October 2008. Marange has become a zone of lawlessness and impunity, a microcosm of the chaos and desperation that currently pervade Zimbabwe.

In late June 2009, Human Rights Watch published a report documenting the serious human rights abuses in the Marange diamond fields by the Zimbabwean military, including forced labor, child labor, the killing of more than 200 people, and other grave abuses.

In its recent plenary meeting in Namibia, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, an international body that oversees the trade of diamonds, decided not to suspend Zimbabwe from participation, nor bar the export of its diamonds, despite finding serious human rights abuses and rampant smuggling during its own investigation of the Marange diamond field. Its weak excuse was a technicality in its mandate that defines blood diamonds as those mined by abusive rebel groups, not by abusive governments.

Tell Kimberley Process member states that they need to take action to end the smuggling of blood diamonds and stop the human rights abuses at the Marange diamond fields.

Go to the website listed and sign the petition!

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