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Zimbabwe: Political Prisoners

Volume 457: debated on Wednesday 7 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate she has made of the number of political prisoners in Zimbabwe. (124630)

There are now very few political prisoners in Zimbabwe, in the sense of those serving prison sentences for holding or advocating dissenting political views. However, arrests and detentions on political grounds are commonplace, for example for participating in demonstrations or attending public meetings. In 2006 human rights organisations registered more than 2,500 of these cases, but without a single conviction. We are concerned that the recent ban on political rallies may well lead to an increase in such incidents. We oppose the ban as well as the arrest and detention of any persons in Zimbabwe on political grounds.