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Movement for Democratic Change: Harassment

Volume 488: debated on Friday 6 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received of harassment of Movement for Democratic Change officials in Zimbabwe. (260272)

[holding answer 3 March 2009]: There was a spate of abductions of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activists in late 2008. On 27 February 2009, many of them were granted bail but some have yet to be released. A further seven are missing, with the state denying knowledge of their whereabouts. The designated MDC Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Roy Bennett, was arrested on 13 February 2009. He and 10 MDC supporters who were arrested after protesting Mr. Bennett’s arrest also remain in police custody. A further 60 MDC supporters arrested in 2009 are also in police custody. We will continue to monitor closely reports of politically motivated harassment, and encourage the new Government to meet their international obligations.