Zimbabwe: 'BBC Human Rights Documentary a Shame'


A leading analyst of the diamond industry cast doubts on a BBC documentary exposing human rights violations at the controversial Marange fields. The BBC's famed Panorama programme alleged that Zimbabwe's security forces were running a torture camp at the diamond fields.

Alleged victims of the torture were showcased recounting horrific tales about the goings on at the fields near Mutare in Manicaland. But Chaim Even-Zohar, an analyst for diamondintelligence.com, a publication on the diamond industry, pointed out many inconsistencies in the documentary that compromise its credibility.

"Panorama's Marange report seen in its totality was superficial; there was no real discussion of the complex issues and no real dialogue on what the KPCS (Kimberly Process Certification Scheme) has achieved or where it has failed," Even-Zohar wrote. In that respect, the programme was a disappointment and clearly a missed opportunity."

Even-Zohar said most of BBC's evidence appeared to be sourced from incidents that happened in 2008, yet a lot has changed in Marange since then.

Stephane Chardon, the chair of the KPCS's powerful Working Group on Monitoring convened an emergency teleconference, a day after the airing of programme, but no action has been taken against Zimbabwe yet.