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EU Parliament Resolution Condemns Harare's 'Relentless Oppression'

The European Parliament has passed a resolution condemning the government of President Robert Mugabe for what it calls “relentless oppression,” urging Harare to withdraw the Interception of Communications Bill and other legislation which it says “will be used as pretexts for even tougher crackdowns” on dissent.

The EU assembly expressed “profound disappointment” that South Africa and other countries in the region had not taken a more robust stance to pressure the Harare government to “restore democracy and the rule of law.”

The EU parliament demanded that Harare provide housing for all those forced out of their homes in its 2005 forced eviction and demolition camnpaign. It also urged Harare to take urgent action to stem the tide of death in the country's HIV-Aids pandemic. It is estimated that some 3,200 Zimbabweans die of AIDS-related causes each week.

The resolution expressed concern at government efforts to take control of Zimbabwe's Red Society, seeing risk that political manipulation of food would be expanded.

Reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe spoke with European Parliament member Karen Scheele, a backer of the resolution, who said Europe is concerned about deteriorating conditions in Zimbabwe and has urged President Mugabe to step down sooner than later to resolve the national crisis.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...