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statement on detention of Jenni Williams
Sean McCormack, Spokesman, US Government
June 7, 2007
The United States
condemns the Government of Zimbabwe's violent suppression of a peaceful
demonstration June 6 in Bulawayo by Women
of Zimbabwe Arise! (WOZA!). Police used batons against some
200 demonstrators, detaining seven activists, including WOZA! National
Coordinator Jenni Williams, the recipient of Secretary Rice's 2007
International Women of Courage Award for Africa, and denying them
access to their lawyers. In light of recent public threats by police
to harm Ms. Williams, we express concern and hold the government
accountable for her safety.
aggression against civil society, coming on the heels of attacks
this spring against opposition leaders, highlights the need for
dialogue among all stakeholders concerned with halting Zimbabwe's
political and economic crisis. We call on the Government of Zimbabwe
to release the detainees immediately, to allow for their medical
treatment, and to grant access to their lawyers. We again call on
the Government of Zimbabwe to respect the rule of law, including
an immediate halt to the violent suppression of democracy activists,
and the rights of all Zimbabweans to petition their government for
for all press statements.
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