Zimbabwe: Commonwealth

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 11th June 2020.

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Photo of Lord Hain Lord Hain Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that the application by the government of Zimbabwe to re-join the Commonwealth is suspended until any violations of human rights cease and are addressed, including the reported arrest, abduction and torture of Joana Mamombe, Netsai Marova and Cecilia Chimbiri on 13 May.

Photo of Baroness Sugg Baroness Sugg The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The decision regarding Zimbabwe's readmission would be for all Commonwealth members. However, the UK will only support readmission when Zimbabwe meets the admission requirements, complying with the values and principles set out in the Commonwealth Charter. These principles include respect for human rights and the rule of law. Disproportionate use of force by Zimbabwe's security forces, as seen in January 2019 and August 2019, and recent reports regarding the abduction and torture of three opposition activists, are clearly inconsistent with the Commonwealth Charter. The Minister for Africa made this clear when he spoke to the Zimbabwean Foreign Minister on 8 June.

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