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Commission seeks links with Church in Zimbabwe

Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission is seeking to establish links with its sister Commission in Zimbabwe so that it can provide support to the Zimbabwean Commission's efforts to challenge growing human rights abuses and injustices in the African nation.

At a time when Zimbabwe is in "economic meltdown", the Zimbabwean Government has announced salary increases of almost 600% for President Robert Mugabe and his senior ministers while refusing to grant any pay increases to low level public servants.

The Mugabe Government is increasing its repression of all political and community opposition and, in the process, the list of human rights abuses is growing, according to international human rights organisations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

Executive Officer of the Commission, Peter Arndt, said that the Brisbane Commission is attempting to make contact with the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace of Zimbabwe to obtain information on what is happening in Zimbabwe and to find ways to support the Church's work for justice in the African nation

"The Zimbabwean Commission has taken a leading role in challenging President Mugabe's repressive actions and has been threatened with regulation because it has been so vocal and active," Mr Arndt said.

"The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe is being a witness to the Gospel and its message of peace, justice and human dignity and our local Commission wants to support our sisters and brothers who are being threatened and intimidated by a brutal regime," he said.

In January, the Commission wrote to the Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer, appealing for concerted action to convince the Zimbabwean Government to bring about practices which foster democracy and good governance.

Catholic Justice and Peace Commission

Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (Archdiocese of Brisbane)
Catholic Commission of Justice and Peace (Zimbabwe)
Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference
Zimbabwe police detain outspoken Archbishop before peace service (10/6/03)
Cardinal: A time to pray for Zimbabwe (Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales)
Zimbabwe's Prelate of Courage (Washington Dispatch)
Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference

10 Jul 2003