Wednesday, March 14, 2007


The egregious attack on the leader of the Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai defied description. Ireland is due to play Zimbabwe in the opening match of the cricket World Cup. Already Laour councillor Aidan Culhane is calling for a boycott tonight, based on the beating meted out to Tsvangirai and his supporters.

Whatever the merits of mixing sports and politics, the attack by police - which resulted in Tsvangirai sustaining a fractured skull - was a disgrace.

Fine Gael's foreign affairs spokesman Bernard Allen captured the mood with an extraordinarily strong statment which I have pasted to here, completely unfiltered:

Attack on Zimbabwean opposition leader a 'shameful act by a shameless Government' – Allen

Bernard Allen TD, Fine Gael Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, has today (Wednesday) called on the Irish Government to denounce the attack on the Zimbabwean Leader of the Opposition, Morgan Tsvangirai, which
constitutes the latest assault on democracy in Zimbabwe.

"It is almost two years to the day since the Dáil debated a motion on the imprisonment of an opposition politician in Zimbabwe, Roy Bennett.

At the time, I described the imprisonment of this MP as a shameful act by a shameless Government. Today, this phrase is no less apt in describing the serious assault on the Zimbabwean Leader of the Opposition.

Since the 2005 Dáil debate, the Government of Zimbabwe has continued to undermine democracy and human rights. The latest episode, which has seen the Zimbabwean Leader of the Opposition being admitted to hospital with a fractured skull following a beating he received in custody, is only the latest in a long line of unacceptable actions on the part of Robert Mugabe and his agents.

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