THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector


Back to Index

Zimbabwe 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.

President Mugabe's 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.

Australia abhors the utter contempt with which the Mugabe regime treats the people of Zimbabwe and calls on Zimbabwe's Government to repeal the NGO legislation immediately.

Media Inquiries: Mr Downer's office 02 6277 7500 - DFAT Media Liaison 02 6261 1555

Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.