HC Deb 03 March 2004 vol 418 cc999-1000W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the regulations on presidential powers issued this month by the Zimbabwe Government; and what representations he has made about them. [157535]

Mr. Mullin

The regulations provide for the automatic detention in custody for nine days for people charged with a wide range of political and economic crimes, including those charged with advocating and organising violence, boycotts or civil disobedience under the Public Order and Security Act. They could be used to harass members of civic society, the independent media and ZANU (PF)'s political opponents.

At the General Affairs and Economic Relations Council on 23 February, EU Foreign Ministers issued a strong statement condemning the Government of Zimbabwe for its human rights abuses.