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The abduction and abuse of Rural Teachers Union President Mr Obert Masaraure in Harare on 6 June demands a swift, thorough and transparent investigation by the competent authorities.
This event follows a spate of arrests and detention of members of non-governmental organisations and trade unionists in Zimbabwe. The perception that civil society leaders are harassed and intimidated is harmful for the reputation of the country. Due legal processes should be followed, and citizens' civic and constitutional rights respected.
Civil society has an important role to play in contributing to the future development of Zimbabwe. It needs to have the space to contribute to the reform agenda without fear, and be able to engage and hold to account Government.
The European Union will continue to follow these developments closely.