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NZ condemns Zimbabwe over diplomats detention

6 June 2008 Media Statement

NZ condemns the detaining of US/UK diplomats and the suppression of NGOs in Zimbabwe

Prime Minister Helen Clark today condemned the detaining in Zimbabwe of diplomats from the United Kingdom and United States.

“The interference in the lawful activities of UK and US diplomats, and the threats made by Zimbabwean police, breach Zimbabwe’s obligations under international law. These actions are completely unacceptable,” Helen Clark said.

“This appears to be yet another example of the Robert Mugabe regime campaign of intimidation and violence, which has led to the targeted killing of 53 opposition members by groups linked to the ruling ZANU-PF party and the Zimbabwe Government.

The detention of the UK and US diplomats followed yesterday’s detention by Zimbabwe police of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

“The intimidating actions by Zimbabwean security forces demonstrates the length which Mugabe and ZANU-PF are prepared to go to hold onto power.

There have also been further threats made to civil society in Zimbabwe, with the Zimbabwe Government moving to suppress the ability of Non Government Organisations (NGOs) to operate freely.

“Reports from NGOs in Zimbabwe have helped keep the international community informed about the scale of the crisis in Zimbabwe.

“Suppressing NGO activity is a cynical attempt to hide the atrocities that ZANU-PF is committing. It is crucial that NGOs are allowed full freedom to provide essential humanitarian assistance to the Zimbabwean people,” Helen Clark said.


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