Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-04-26-Speech-4-167"

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"Madam President, Mr Pafilis, four minutes ago, you gave the most cynical speech on Zimbabwe which has been heard in this House since 1999. You will actually stop at nothing and are legitimising a dictatorship. I recommend that you again take to heart the moving appeal given by Bishop Tutu, for I consider him to be above suspicion. It is sometimes believed that it is impossible to sink any lower in a country if it has the lowest life expectancy worldwide, has the highest rate of inflation across the globe, if unemployment is running at 80%, if just as many people are living below the absolute poverty level, and if the economy has shrunk by 40% over the last decade. Unfortunately, the power of the regimes in these very countries is still sufficient to hit out at the population, as happened most recently on 11 March. Many were arrested and tortured. As members of Parliament, we are particularly horrified by the brutal mistreatment of our colleague, Nelson Chamisa, who, en route to Brussels for a committee meeting of our Joint Parliamentary Assembly, was brutally beaten up at Harare airport by regime thugs, losing an eye in the process. My thanks go to the Council which clearly expressed its views on the Council situation on 13 and 18 March and in the General Council as well on 23 April, and also expanded the list of travel bans imposed on leading supporters of the regime. At least the SADC has recognised that there is a crisis in Zimbabwe and has employed President Mbeki as a mediator. We are aware that unfortunately, Mugabe feels somewhat encouraged following the SADC meeting and repression is also continuing throughout the whole of the country without the international community paying any attention. South Africa always plays a key role. President Mbeki must play the role of mediator in a credible fashion. We know how difficult it is to accept that a liberator can evolve into a tyrant, but it is in Mbeki’s hands to go down in the annals of history as someone who, in the end, has also helped human rights and democracy in Africa on the road to success by taking the side of the long-suffering people."@en1

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