Zimbabwe police detain US, UK diplomats

[JURIST] Zimbabwean police detained US and UK diplomatic envoys for several hours at a roadblock Thursday, threatening them and beating one of their drivers, according to US Ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee, who described the incident as an "illegal action." US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said that the Zimbabwean government's actions had "flouted all international convention" [press briefing, video] and that the US intended to raise the issue in a UN Security Council meeting late Thursday. UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband said [press release] that the event was an example of the intimidation encountered daily by Zimbabwean citizens. Zimbabwean officials said that the detention was for the convoy members' safety after they left a rally that had turned violent. AP has more. Sky News has additional coverage.

On Wednesday, opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) [party website] leader Morgan Tsvangirai [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] was stopped at a roadblock and then held for nine hours [Reuters report] for drawing and addressing a crowd of people. Tsvangirai is involved in a dispute with President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile] over the disputed results of the recent presidential elections [JURIST news archive]. The MDC has estimated that at least 65 of its members have been killed [BBC report] since the first election in March, and human rights groups have suggested that state-sponsored violence will only increase as the second presidential vote draws closer.



 

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