The Abammeli Bamalungelo Abantu - Network of Human Rights Lawyers (Abammeli) was established in August 2011 by lawyers from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, who identified a need to create a network of lawyers with an interest in human rights. The organisation was set up with an objective to protect and promote the observance of human rights in Zimbabwe.
The goal of Abammeli is to protect and promote the observance of the rule of law, as well as respect for and recognition of all human rights that are enshrined in the constitution and all other human rights instruments that are part of the human rights culture.
Its mission is to promote and protect the rights of students, trade unions, women’s groups, local communities and human rights defenders in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces so that they enjoy their human rights and lead dignified lives.
Its stated objectives are:
- To promote the effective legal protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of Zimbabwe;
- To protect and develop human rights protection within Zimbabwe;
- To lobby for the Zimbabwean government to commit itself to good governance through rectifying, domesticating and observing important regional and international human rights instruments and to rededicate itself to respecting and protecting the human rights and dignity of the individual through consistency, reminding it of its international obligations;
- To assist marginalised sectors of the Zimbabwean community though providing them with relevant education, information, and legal assistance in order to assert their rights and seek improvement in their living conditions;
- To be the voice of the voiceless, oppressed and disadvantaged groups aiming at empowering all citizens to be active participants in a democratic society; and
- To co-operate with local, regional and international human rights organisations that are striving to advance the cause of human rights.
Public litigation is central to the activities of Abammeli in its bid to foster a culture of respect of human rights in Zimbabwe. The organisation seeks to ensure the observance of human rights through providing litigation services to victims of human rights violations in Zimbabwe, and for them to be guaranteed rights provided for in the Declaration of Rights enshrined in the country’s constitution, as well as regional and international instruments that Zimbabwe has signed and is a state party to.
It is registered as a nonprofit making trust with the legal status of a universitas. Abammeli is registered with the Law Society of Zimbabwe as a legal aid clinic and is open to all lawyers and law students.