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Mugabe urged to curb media repression
June 12, 2007

The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) says President Robert Mugabe should curb the arbitrary arrest, detention and torture of journalists working for the independent press in Zimbabwe.

During its 60th congress in Cape Town, South Africa held from 3 - 6 June 2007, the WAN board also condemned the Media and Information Commission (MIC) led by Dr Tafataona Mahoso for suppressing press freedom through its policies aimed at asphyxiating the "very last private media" in Zimbabwe.

WAN president Gavin O'Reilly urged South African President Thabo Mbeki to use his influence to end the country's abuses of freedom and civil liberties. "Though conscious that it (Zimbabwe) is a sovereign state, we hope Mr President that you will bring your considerable influence and abiding sense of justice to do all in your power to help rectify the flagrant abuses of freedom that exist in that country," said O'Reilly.

We readily recognise that the Mugabe regime sees fit to discount any legitimate commentary from the international community, but we hope that a fellow African nation like South Africa can actively encourage real progress and bring normalcy and true liberty to that country."

The Wan board said the recurrent violations of journalists basic rights and the complete disregard for the rule of law by the Zimbabwean leadership was totally unacceptable.

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