UNITED NATIONS

Press Release



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HIGH COMMISSIONER URGES RESPECT FOR
ZIMBABWE HIGH COURT’S ORDER FOR IMMEDIATE
ACTION ON OPPOSITION LEADER


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HC/07/11
13 March 2007

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour today welcomed the order of Zimbabwe’s High Court that Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), be provided immediately with all necessary medical treatment and today be brought before the Court or released.

“I welcome the speed and firmness with which Zimbabwe’s courts have acted in the face of shocking reports of police abuse”, she said.

According to consistent reports, excessive use of force at a rally last Sunday resulted in one death and many casualties, including to women and children. Several persons, including five senior members of the MDC are in police custody. Mr. Tsvangirai was reportedly seriously injured as a result of beatings sustained in custody.

“This form of repression and intimidation of a peaceful assembly is unacceptable, and the loss of life makes this even more disturbing”, the High Commissioner said.

“I urge the Zimbabwean authorities to ensure an immediate, impartial and comprehensive investigation into these events”, she said. “I encourage the courts to continue to discharge their responsibilities as guardians of the rights of all Zimbabweans”.

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