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Government bans rights groups
The Hon Alexander
Downer, MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Australia
December 15, 2004
I condemn the
new law passed by Zimbabwe's Parliament banning international human
rights groups from working in the country.
ruling party has used its majority in Parliament to push through
the "Non-Governmental Organisations Bill". The new law bans all
international organisations in Zimbabwe working on "governance issues,"
including many human rights organisations. It places severe restrictions
on local human rights organisations and prevents them from accessing
international donor funding.
The Mugabe regime
forced this legislation through Parliament, ignoring a report by
the Parliamentary Legal Committee that the legislation was unconstitutional.
Australia, along with many other concerned countries, urged the
Zimbabwean Government to stop the passage of the new law.
This, like the
imprisonment of opposition Movement for Democratic Change MP Mr
Roy Bennett, is yet another example of President Mugabe's determination
to silence dissent at any cost.
the utter contempt with which the Mugabe regime treats the people
of Zimbabwe and calls on Zimbabwe's Government to repeal the NGO
Mr Downer's office 02 6277 7500 - DFAT Media Liaison 02 6261 1555
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