Blood for Diamonds: End Repression in Zimbabwe

Human Rights Watch has released a report accusing Zimbabwe’s armed forces of forcing citizens, including children, to labor in diamond fields, as well as torturing and beating local villagers.

The report explains how in October 2008 the army seized the diamond fields of the once peaceful eastern area of Chiadzwa by invading and killing 200 people. Since then, the area has been filled with violence and unrest.Police officers are accused of exploiting the area’s chaos by beating, torturing and killing illegal miners, as opposed to trying to halt the process of illegal mining. With such police abuse, armed forces were called to step in, but they have only exacerbated the violent, lawless climate.

One interviewed miner recalls one particular day. “Soldiers in helicopters started firing live ammunition and tear gas at us. We all stopped digging and began to run toward the hills to hide. I noticed that there were many uniformed soldiers on foot pursuing us. From my syndicate, 14 miners were shot and killed that morning.”

HRW urges the government to step in and take control of the mines in order to rebuild the ravaged economy, and prosecute those responsible for bloodshed. In the meantime, HRW calls for the ban of Zimbabwean diamond exports, and for the country’s suspension from the Kimberly Process, which grants certification for diamonds.



Sys O.
Roy Wilkie5 years ago

I actually encourage Mugabe to sell all the diamonds he can. Flood the market. Drive the prices down until nobody has any reason to kill for them any more. Work himself, and butchers like him, out of a job.

'Blood' diamonds will always fuel wars as long as someone is willing to pay a high price for them, and the price was intentionally hyper-inflated by De Beers and other monopolies.

Trying to ban blood diamonds is like like trying to ban any cash money used by criminals. That's what they are; anonymous bits of compressed money - because the diamond cartels make it that way. They are completely untraceable and there's nothing that can change that; they're rocks!

The only thing we can really do is help drive down the prices by not buying them.

Sergio Neveu
Sergio Neveu8 years ago

I wuill writte in portuguese, because is my language.
è tão simples que parece inacreditavel: tudo que temos que fazer é acabar com o mercado comprador. Não no sentido de eliminar, senão no sentido de entender o obvio: Esta situação se perpetua porque a mesquinhez de poucos alimenta essa atrocidade contra crianças, adultos e idosos.
è uma questão de consciencia individual. O que sustenta esse comercio deploravel é a ambição, a ostentação e o egoismo de pessoas inescrupulosas, porem que podem deter esse terrorismo oficializado.

judy k.
judy k8 years ago


Kerrie T.
Kerrie T8 years ago

Child labour and violence towards innocent people make me sick. There really needs to be a ban on Zimbabwean diamonds. I personally find diamonds to be overrated and useless.

Janet Rose C.
Janet Rose C8 years ago

How can Mugabe remain president? How can a murdering, deceitful, cunning fraudlent, lying, cheating dictator stay as president of a country for over 20 years? He lost the last election last year and he still is in power with his devious Justice Ministry, tortuous army and police, and other scheming key posts? How can a nation go on a downhill spiral with its inhabitants starving, no fresh water, no proper shelter and no personal quality of living. Magabe is 85years of age and I think he needs to be put out to pasture. It is too mind boggling for me, that we of the united nations, has let this macabre ragime continue for so long. Now the Zambabwe army and police are mass murdering on illegal diamond mining in Chiadzwa. If the citizens were working, maintaining a viable transport system, sustainable sewer system, practical water access, in all aspects of health, and earning a good wages, families all being well cared for, better educated, there wouldn't be illegal mining or any other crime as it is as rampant as today.
Someone, Somehow, Something, has to be done for this nation. Not the handouts that we are giving now. Yes!!! they are needed now, but people need pride not handouts. This Nation needs our help in other ways to sustain self respect in being able to provide for themselves and to become once again a GREAT NATION.


Elizabeth M.
Elizabeth M8 years ago

it really is that simple. eliminate the demand for diamonds and the supply will promptly disappear, along with the brutal methods of obtaining them. why would you want a diamond anyway? they're pretty useless in my opinion. if you want beauty, watch a sunset.

pamela p.
pam p8 years ago

For pity's sake, STOP buying diamonds!!! Think about the cost in human lives.

heather g.
heather g8 years ago

All diamonds are not equal so don't judge all mining as a comparison to what takes place in Zimbabwe. However, a few western countries' crooked diamond merchants do buy directly from diggers at very low prices eg Amazon area. Africa's wealth continues to be looted by richer nations, as in colonial days. If I'm not mistaken, there is a very wide-spread lack of knowledge about Zimbabwe's Mugabe and even the whereabouts of Zimbabwe. His dictatorial powers are all-encompassing, with support of the African Union. South Africa is trying to deal with some 4 million Zim. migrants, but receives no financial help from G20 countries.

RC Sihag
RC Sihag8 years ago

The brutal action on the local inhabitants must be stopped.This is barbaric.Child labour is inhumane.This also must be stopped.

RC Sihag
RC Sihag8 years ago

The brutal action on the local inhabitants must stop.This is barbaric.Stop child labour.This is inhmane.