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Press Statement
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 26, 2007


Zimbabwe: Civil Society Organization Beatings During President Mbeki's Visit

We strongly condemn the severe beating of 22 members of the National Constitutional Assembly, a pro-democracy civil society organization, following a peaceful November 22 demonstration in Harare. We call on the Government of Zimbabwe to end immediately the violent attacks against democratic activists and civil society organizations, to respect the rule of law, and to allow the Zimbabwean people to exercise peacefully their political rights. That such a brutal attack would occur during South African President Thabo Mbeki's visit demonstrates the Mugabe regime's continuing disregard for democracy, internationally accepted human rights standards, and the opinion of the international community.

We fully support the Southern African Development Community's (SADC) initiative in bringing together Zimbabwe's ruling and opposition parties for talks on resolving the political and economic crisis and commend President Mbeki for his leadership and public commitment to deliver free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.

2007/1038

Released on November 26, 2007

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