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Commonwealth Won't Suspend Zimbabwe

January 31, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Commonwealth foreign ministers rejected British-led calls for Zimbabwe's suspension from the organization as the southern African nation arrested three journalists for protesting against a tough new media bill.

The eight-member Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, the democracy watchdog for the Commonwealth of mainly ex-British colonies, called instead for the deployment of election observers for Zimbabwe's presidential elections March 9-10.

The decision in London came hours after three reporters were arrested outside Zimbabwe's parliament in Harare, the capital, when riot police broke up a media protest. The demonstrators oppose new legislation that was revised Wednesday but would still impose tight media controls.

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