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U.S. Government statement on police crackdown on opposition rallies
United States Government
February 21, 2007

We condemn the actions of the Government of Zimbabwe over this past weekend in suppressing peaceful opposition political activity. In disregard for a court order, riot police in Harare broke up a rally where the leader of one of the factions of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai, had planned to announce his candidacy for the country's 2008 presidential election. Scores were injured and arrested for attempting to assemble peacefully and exercise their political rights.

The police also suppressed a rally in Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo, by the MDC's other faction over the weekend, injuring and arresting many MDC members.

We call on the Government of Zimbabwe to respect the country's judicial decisions and the rule of law and allow the people of Zimbabwe to exercise their political rights. Zimbabwe's political and economic crises can only be resolved through dialogue with the political opposition, with Zimbabwe's civil society and with the people of Zimbabwe, who have made clear their desire for democratic change.

Tom Casey, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC

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