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Government of Zimbabwe Forcibly Removed USAID Democracy, Human Rights and Governance Assessment Team – United States Department of State

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Last month, Zimbabwean officials abruptly detained and deported USAID officials and contractors, who were conducting an assessment of the development and governance context in Zimbabwe. Members of the assessment team were subject to aggressive handling, prolonged interrogation and intimidation, unsafe and forced nighttime transportation, overnight detention and confinement, and forced removal from the country. As we have made clear in the strongest possible terms to the Government of Zimbabwe, these actions against a team of development professionals legally admitted to Zimbabwe to support the Government of Zimbabwe’s expressed commitment to democratic reform are egregious, unjustified and unacceptable.

The Government of Zimbabwe has said it wants to pursue international reengagement and democratic reforms. Its actions undermine those claims. We take the safety and security of U.S. citizens seriously and demand accountability from the Government of Zimbabwe. The people of Zimbabwe deserve better and we will continue to support them as we work to build a more inclusive, democratic society with accountable political leaders and government institutions.

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