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Volume 454: debated on Tuesday 5 December 2006

14. To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will make a statement on the human rights situation in Zimbabwe. (107318)

The human rights situation in Zimbabwe remains appalling. September's brutal crackdown on the leadership of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) underlines this. I had the opportunity to meet with Lovemore Matombo and Wellington Chibebe, leaders of the ZCTU, and hear first hand about their appalling treatment by the authorities. Our response could not have been clearer. Sadly, last week, the Government of Zimbabwe chose to continue their brutality by beating peaceful women and children demonstrators. We will continue to pressure the Government of Zimbabwe to restore respect for democratic values, human rights and the rule of law.