Zimbabwe, 31 May 2006: Amnesty International on May 31 released the first-ever satellite images of the wholesale destruction of a large community in Zimbabwe — providing the clearest possible evidence to date of the devastating impact of the Zimbabwean government’s policy of house demolitions.
“These satellite images are irrefutable evidence — if further evidence is even needed — that the Zimbabwean government has obliterated entire communities — completely erased them from the map, as if they never existed,” said Kolawole Olaniyan, Director of Amnesty International’s Africa programme.
The organization commissioned the satellite images to demonstrate the complete destruction of Porta Farm — a large, informal settlement that was established 16 years ago and had schools, a children’s centre and a mosque. The organization also released graphic video footage showing the forced evictions taking place prior to the demolitions.
“The images and footage are a graphic indictment of the Zimbabwean government’s policies. They show the horrifying transition of an area from a vibrant community to rubble and shrubs — in the space of just ten months,” said Kolawole Olaniyan.