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Zimbabwe: Human rights groups must not be banned

The measures are reportedly contained in a draft bill governing the operation of non-governmental organisations(NGOs).

Amnesty International said: “These reports indicate that as with other legislation introduced in the past two years, the government will use this new bill to silence critical voices and further restrict the right to freedom of expression. It is a clear attempt by the government to suppress dissenting views as parliamentary elections scheduled for March 2005 draw closer.”

Amnesty International calls on the government of Zimbabwe to repeal or amend immediately all legislation which violates the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, and to bring national legislation in line with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the African Charter and other international human rights standards.

At the opening of parliament on 20 July 2004, President Mugabe confirmed that new legislation governing the operation of NGOs would be introduced to replace the Private Voluntary Organisations Act.

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