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Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations Her Majesty's Government have made to the Zimbabwean Government regarding the shutting down of the Daily News. [131212]

I issued a press statement on 15 September condemning the Government of Zimbabwe for this latest attack on the free and independent media in Zimbabwe. I made it clear that we regard the closure of the Daily News as a blatant attempt by the Government of Zimbabwe to stifle independent scrutiny and silence democratic voices in Zimbabwe. With our support the EU also issued a declaration on 18 September, condemning the closure of the Daily News and describing it as a serious attack on freedom of information in Zimbabwe. I issued a further press statement on 20 September. We will continue to press for the Daily News to be allowed to resume publication.