Thursday, December 21, 2006

No dissent allowed

HARARE, Zimbabwe Dec 20, 2006 (AP)— President Robert Mugabe said Wednesday his government will not tolerate dissent created "under the guise of freedom of expression."....

Mugabe, in his annual state of the nation address to parliament, said law enforcement agencies will continue to crush dissent in the troubled southern African nation. He said government opponents were bent on creating anarchy and pushing what he has described as a British attempt to topple his government.

In September, police thwarted a march by the main labor federation in Harare protesting deepening poverty. At least 16 labor leaders were assaulted by police, several of them suffering bone fractures and other injuries, according to independent doctors and human rights organizations.

Mugabe said afterward the labor leaders were resisting arrest for holding a banned protest and "reasonable force" was used to break up the march.

Britain, the United States and the European Union have imposed travel and visa restrictions on Mugabe and ruling party leaders to protest alleged violations of human and democratic rights since 2000.....

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