The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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5th June 2003

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) continues to monitor the human rights aspects in respect of the ongoing civic action and has received disturbing reports of harassment of lawyers at police stations throughout the country. This is a very serious issue and is of grave concern to ZLHR.
ZLHR received a report that certain lawyers have been subjected to abuse and in instances manhandled by the police merely for attempting to represent their detained clients. Two Gweru lawyers, Reginald Chidawanyika and Dumisani Kufaruwenga, filed a complaint that on 2 June 2003 the police at Gweru Central police station subjected them to harassment when they attended the station to represent their detained clients. Amongst other things they were allegedly manhandled by one D/Sgt Masango who is reported to have grabbed the lawyers by the arms and "pulled [them] out of the charge office". D/Sgt Masango further allegedly grabbed Mr Chidawanyika by the waist to push him out of the charge office where he had gone to try and locate his detained clients. D/Sgt Masango also "physically manhandled [Mr Kufaruwenga] by the jersey and pushed his back against the wall. This harassment of the lawyers took place in front of their "clients numbering about eleven" and members of the police force manning the charge office. Relatives of the detainees and other members of the public also witnessed this public humiliation of lawyers by the police. When the lawyers tried to raise a complaint with Detective Woman Assistant Inspector Mapinge they advise that "she immediately went into a barrage in unprintable words" accusing the lawyers of not being human beings and that the treatment to which D/Sgt Masango had subjected the lawyers is what they deserved.

The police ultimately refused to let the lawyers have access to their clients and forced the detainees to pay admission of guilt fines under the Miscellaneous Offences Act to secure their release from custody. This was contrary to the lawyers' advice that their clients had no reason to pay any fines. The other case of concern that came to our attention through the press is that of the Bulawayo lawyer Kossam Ncube who is reported in The Daily News of 5 June 2003 (p7) to have been threatened with arrest merely for trying to ascertain the whereabouts of his clients at Western Commonage Police Station.

ZLHR draws the attention of the police to the following instruments that clearly spell out the government's obligations and responsibilities towards ensuring that lawyers operate in an enabling environment;
1.  United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers (1990), Principle 17 that states;
 "where the security of lawyers is threatened as a result of discharging their function they shall be adequately safeguarded by the authorities"
2.  The Constitution of Zimbabwe, Section 79B that states;
 "In the exercise of judicial authority a member of the judiciary shall not be subject the direction or control of any person or authorityŠ"

ZLHR are also mindful of the report of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of the judges and lawyers Dato' Param Cumaraswammy submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Commission dated 10 January 2003 which has a recommendation as follows;
 " With regard to Zimbabwe, the Special Rapporteur once again urges the Commission to consider and address appropriately its concerns about the deterioration in that country, inter alia with regard to the independence of the judiciary and its impact on the rule of law."

Finally ZLHR draws attention of the police and government to the recommendation of the African NGOs forum at the recently ended African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights 33rd Session in Niger which reads in part that;
 "The participants of the NGO Forum urge the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights Što recommend that the government of Zimbabwe;
take all necessary measures to ensure protection of lawyers, public prosecutors, magistrates and judges and to respect the independence of the judiciaryŠ"

ZLHR is therefore gravely concerned at the continuation of threats, harassment and intimidation of lawyers particularly those handling human rights related cases, and calls upon the police to comply with its obligations and responsibilities to ensure that adequate protection is offered to members of the legal fraternity in the exercise of their judicial functions. In particular all reports of threats, intimidation and harassment of the lawyers must be promptly investigated and perpetrators prosecuted. We also once again call on the Minister of Justice, Legal & Parliamentary Affairs to publicly support the independence of the Judiciary and other legal officers and ensure that a swift end is brought to the harassment and intimidation of legal practitioners attempting to effect their professional duties.

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Zimbabwe Lawyers For Human Rights has been monitoring the human rights issues arising out of the ongoing peoples expression and based on its observations on the general arrests that have taken place so far, releases this statement;
there are credible reports that a significant number of the arrests and detentions are arbitrary.

ZLHR therefore calls upon the police to comply with the legal requirement of having a reasonable suspicion that an offence has been committed before arresting anyone. The police must allow accused persons unimpeded access to their lawyers as well as access to members of their family. The police have a responsibility to feed detainees, provide medical treatment where it is required, and to ensure that any detained person is not subjected to inhuman and/or degrading treatment. Further ZLHR reminds the police that torture is seen as a serious offence and human rights violation in international law and might open up violators to international prosecution. Over-detention must also be stopped forthwith. Detention must only be used as a last resort where it is absolutely essential to do so in the interest of the law. Even though the police may be seeing themselves as going through a challenging period in the history of their profession, they must remain professional, objective and impartial in the discharge of their responsibilities. Anything less is not acceptable.
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This is becoming a really interesting place.  The only country in the
 world where your largest note - $500 - can't buy you a beer, which is $650.
 A  roll of 1-ply toilet paper costs $1000.  There are approximately 72
sections on the average roll, so it is cheaper to take your $1000, change
it into $10's, wipe your arse on 72 of them and get $280 change. 
I wonder if this great theorem of mine will go down in history along with
Pythagoras.  In 100 years, will they call it Fletcher's Fiscal Arse- Wipe
Finding ?  Who knows? 
I am actually enjoying this now, as we are all spectators at the absolute
melt-down.  The whole of ZANU- PF included. Their crisis management
no longer works and events will surely bury them.
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Mugabe says he's ready for a fight, won't retire

By Toby Reynolds

JOHANNESBURG, June 8 — Declaring his readiness for a fight, Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe dismissed protests against his 23-year rule as
contrived by the United States and Britain and said he had no plans to quit.

       In an interview for broadcast on Sunday, the embattled 79-year-old
leader, whose government last week faced down its most serious opposition
protests yet with tear gas and riot police, said it would be nonsensical to
retire a year after his controversial 2002 election.
       ''I don't want to retire in a situation where people are disunited
and where certain of our objectives have not been achieved,'' Mugabe told
South Africa's public broadcaster SABC, in an interview that followed a
friendly line of questioning and skirted reports of state violence against
opposition followers.
       ''It would be nonsensical for me, a year after my election, to
resign,'' said Mugabe. He qualified his recent suggestion that the ruling
ZANU-PF party should openly discuss his succession by saying that such talk
should be dropped if it led to divisions.
       He added that pressure to quit from the United States and former
colonial power Britain would only harden his resolve. ''As long as there is
that fight, I am for a fight... And I can still punch,'' Mugabe said.
       The United States and Britain have led Western condemnation of
Mugabe's government, saying his election was fraudulent and that he has
driven the country's once bountiful economy into its current state of
disrepair, characterised by 269-percent inflation, high unemployment, and
shortages of food and fuel.
       In a rare step, the International Monetary Fund suspended Zimbabwe's
voting rights last week as punishment for wrong economic policies and
outstanding debts to the Fund.

       Mugabe accuses Western leaders, particularly Britain's Tony Blair, of
colluding with the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to
destabilise the country.
       MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was arrested on Friday and charged with
treason in connection with what the opposition party dubbed a ''final push''
of anti-government demonstrations last week.
       The planned five-day protest faltered in the face of an army and
police crackdown, backed by pro-government youth militias. But much of
Harare stayed closed.
       ''The final push has failed totally if it was meant to be a push at
all... On the contrary it has been a push in reverse. So who has pushed
who?'' Mugabe said in the interview, recorded on June 4.
       ''It was just some drama staged for the G8, but a drama in which the
main characters have failed to impress anybody,'' he added, referring to a
meeting of the Group of Eight industrialised nations, which coincided with
the first days of the protests in Zimbabwe.
       Mugabe said his ruling ZANU-PF party would be willing to talk to the
MDC, on condition that they dropped a legal challenge to his election, which
along with a controversial land seizure programme has been the main focus of
Western countries' complaints.
       ''Dialogue yes, but you dialogue about what, with people who don't
consider you as legitimate?'' Mugabe said.
       Referring to land ownership as the overriding concern of ordinary
Zimbabweans, Mugabe said his country's economic woes were surmountable.
       ''As long as we have our land and as long as we are simple in our
needs, we will survive,'' Mugabe said.
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Zimbabwe will not attend Commonwealth summit

      June 08 2003 at 06:39PM

Johannesburg - Zimbabwe will not participate in the official Commonwealth
Science Council meetings to be held in Johannesburg in the next few days,
the office of South African Science and Technology Minister Ben Ngubane said
on Sunday.

It denied media reports that Ngubane, using his position as chairperson of
the council, had specifically asked Olivia Nyembezi, the Zimbabwean minister
of state for science and technology development in the president's office to

"The office of the minister wishes to emphasise that at no time was any
minister from the Southern African Development Community or elsewhere
specifically singled out to attend the high-level forum," said ministerial
spokesperson Andrew Aphane.

Zimbabwe is not allowed to attend Commonwealth council meetings following
its suspension last year.

He said the decision to invite ministers, including that of Zimbabwe, was
taken after extensive consultations between the ministry, the science and
technology department, and the Commonwealth Secretariat.

"The response from the Commonwealth Secretariat throughout on the issue of
participation in the high-level forum has been that this event is not part
of the official Commonwealth Science Council meeting and that South Africa
has the latitude to decide on the level of participation in the forum.

"This would explain why Angola, a non-member of the Commonwealth, is also
attending this event," Aphane said.

The programme, which starts on Monday, involves three types of meetings. One
is a high-level forum on science and technology expenses involving the
Commonwealth, SADC science ministers and South African stakeholders.

Another is a ministerial meeting where Commonwealth and SADC ministers will
share perspectives on science and technology in the context of development.

The official Commonwealth Science Council meetings will start on Tuesday
afternoon, and will not include Zimbabwe.

"South Africa since its accession to the Commonwealth has strictly observed
the mandates and decisions of the Commonwealth," Aphane said.

"The high-level forum is not in violation of any of these decisions and
mandates, and South Africa will ensure that the official Commonwealth
Science Council proceedings will take place within the strict bounds of its
remit." - Sapa

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Zimbabwe opposition threatens protest over arrest

By Stella Mapenzauswa

HARARE, June 8 — Zimbabwe's main opposition on Sunday threatened to renew
mass protests against President Robert Mugabe's government unless police
release the party's leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, being held on treason
       Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is in
police custody after his arrest late on Friday, which came after the
opposition led a week of protests against Mugabe's government.
       The MDC says the 79-year-old Mugabe cheated his way to re-election at
2002 polls and blames him for crippling the economy of Zimbabwe, which has
269-percent inflation and over 70-percent unemployment.
       ''If our president is not released immediately, the dying (Mugabe)
regime must brace itself for a long winter of intense but peaceful mass
action,'' MDC vice-president Gibson Sibanda told journalists, without
       Tsvangirai was due to appear in court on Monday over state
allegations that he tried to incite MDC supporters to overthrow the
government. State television said police were still looking for MDC
Secretary General Welshman Ncube in connection with the same charges.
       Tsvangirai is also due to appear in the High Court on Monday for a
trial on separate, earlier treason charges alleging he plotted to kill
Mugabe in 2001.
       On Sunday, Sibanda said Tsvangirai remained in high spirits ''despite
the harassment and attempts to humiliate him.''
       Tsvangirai has launched a legal challenge to Mugabe's victory in 2002
polls, which both the opposition and several Western countries have decried
as fraudulent.
       His arrest on Friday coincided with news that the International
Monetary Fund had suspended Zimbabwe's voting rights, a rare measure the
fund said stemmed from the country's failure to tackle its debts and
economic woes.
       Tsvangirai's lawyers said he denied the state's charges.
       Security forces cracked down hard on the demonstrations last week and
the protests faltered towards their scheduled end in the face of tear gas,
alleged beatings and gangs of pro-government youths roving the streets.
       Sibanda said more than 200 MDC activists remained in police custody
following arrests during the week.
       ''Mass action is not illegal. It is a basic universal right. We will
continue to exercise that right at a time of our own choosing,'' he said.
       On Saturday, Mugabe accused former colonial power Britain and the
United States of instigating an illegal protest drive to topple his
government and hinted he would retaliate.
       He argues the economy has been sabotaged by his political opponents
in retaliation for his seizure of white-owned farms for redistribution among
landless blacks.
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'Mugabe wants to provoke a bloodbath'

      June 08 2003 at 03:54PM

Harare - Zimbabwe's opposition party said on Sunday that the government had
arrested its leader in an attempt to provoke a bloody backlash that would
give it an excuse to crush the party.

"Morgan Tsvangirai's arrest was an attempt to provoke the Movement for
Democratic Change into premature action so that there could be bloodshed,
thus creating a pretext to ban and crush the party," MDC vice president
Gibson Sibanda told reporters in Harare.

"We maintain that our leader is innocent," Sibanda said.

Tsvangirai was due in court on Monday after being arrested on Friday and
charged with treason for calling on Zimbabweans to demonstrate to show their
anger toward the government of President Robert Mugabe.

      'We maintain that our leader is innocent'
Tsvangirai's arrest came on the last day of a week of mass anti-government
protests organised by the MDC.

"To the regime we have one message - release President Tsvangirai
immediately. If our president is not released immediately the dying regime
must brace itself for a long winter of intense but peaceful mass action," he

The MDC blames Mugabe's government for chronic economic hardships and
widespread shortages affecting most people in the former British colony.

It has refused to accept the results of the March 2002 presidential
election, in which Tsvangirai unsuccessfully ran against Mugabe, and has
challenged them in court.

Both the United States and the European Union condemned Tsvangarai's arrest
and told the government to stop its violence towards protestors.

Mugabe countered on Saturday that American and British support for
Zimbabwe's opposition was "illegal" and warned that his government would not
tolerate it for much longer.

Tsvangarai is already facing another treason charge over an alleged plot to
assassinate Mugabe.

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Posted on Sun, Jun. 08, 2003

      Zimbabwe falling into total collapse
      Chicago Tribune

      BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe - Runaway inflation soon may be brought under
control in beleaguered Zimbabwe, but not quite in the way President Robert
Mugabe had hoped.

      With industry largely shuttered, commercial farms unplanted and this
once-rich country's economy collapsing under Mugabe's economic policies,
Zimbabwe has run out of money even to print more money.

      Buying watermark paper and ink requires foreign currency, and
Zimbabwe's coffers are empty. The country can no longer afford to import
gasoline, coal to fire its utilities or most other basic needs. Rampaging
300 percent inflation has raised prices so high - 2,560 Zimbabwe dollars for
a gallon of milk, or $46 at the official exchange rate - that buyers now
must tote sacks of cash to the grocery store and the banks are running out
of bills.

      The country's opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change,
called last week for a nationwide work strike and street marches as a "final
push" to shove the now-detested 79-year-old president from power. But the
strike fizzled after the first few days and the marches failed to draw
crowds, largely because of heavy police and military intimidation and
widespread fear.

      A growing number of Zimbabweans think that the failing economy itself,
rather than protests and legal challenges, will be what ultimately brings
Mugabe down, and that such a collapse could come within six months if the
longtime president is unable to secure more outside economic aid.

      With gasoline prices skyrocketing to $180 a gallon at the official
rate and black-market supplies unreliable, many urban Zimbabwean workers pay
nearly half of their monthly salary on bus fare to get to work.

      That means "soon we won't even have to call stay-aways," said David
Coltart, one of the protest organizers and an opposition parliament member
from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city. "People simply won't be able
to get to work anymore. Economics will determine it rather than political

      Over the last six months, Zimbabwe's struggling economy has plunged
into a free fall.

      Unemployment is over 70 percent. Forced by the government to sell
their products below the cost of production, factories have closed their
doors or been shuttered by rolling power outages.

      White-owned farms, seized for redistribution to black owners, lie
largely fallow due to lack of cash for seeds and fertilizer. Fuel is so
scarce that the Zimbabwe Seed Trade Association warned recently that
"farmers may be forced to choose between harvesting crops (now in the field)
and planting (new) crops. They are obviously unable to do both."

      Libya, which over the last year has supplied gasoline to Zimbabwe in
exchange for farms and political support, has closed the fuel tap. Only
buses and public transport vans line up at the rare open gas stations;
private drivers must motor to neighboring Botswana or South Africa to fill
their tanks.

      In Bulawayo lines instead form at the banks as frustrated depositors
try to make withdrawals in cash the banks don't have.

      Cargill Cotton, a private company, recently began issuing its own
currency, urging in a newspaper ad that the "bearer's checks" it was handing
employees "should be treated as cash."

      "The country can't function anymore. Everything has collapsed. The
institutions can't operate," said Thokozani Khupe, a Movement for Democratic
Change parliament member from Makokoba.

      That collapse, however, hasn't brought Zimbabweans to the streets.
Since the country's rigged 2002 presidential elections, any meeting of more
than two people in Zimbabwe has been banned, and protesters have been
sprayed with tear gas, beaten, kidnapped and, in some cases, killed.

      During the recent labor strike, police and soldiers rounded up
merchants at their homes and forced them to open shop doors under threat of
arrest and the withdrawal of business licenses. More than 300 political
opposition leaders also were arrested, jailed and, in some cases, tortured,
MDC officials say. In Bulawayo, military helicopters swept over the city and
truckloads of soldiers trolled city streets.

      Youths like Vusi Ndlovu, 21, who might elsewhere form the backbone of
street marches, say they have seen what happens to friends and neighbors who
stand up to Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since the nation's independence
in 1980.

      "I'm scared," said Ndlovu, who works at a partially government-owned
factory and who went to work last week rather than lose his job. In
Zimbabwe, police "hit you instead of using water (cannons) like in other

      "We want change, but how it will come no one knows," he said.

      Archbishop Pius Ncube, a longtime Bulawayo opposition figure,
attributes Mugabe's success in clinging to power to a failure by Zimbabwe's
neighbors to speak out against the regime's brutality and its violations of
democratic principles.

      "They believe as African leaders we should stand in solidarity against
the Western world," Ncube said. "Each time we (in Zimbabwe) try to take
steps (to pressure Mugabe), African leaders get together and vote in favor
of Mugabe. It's a big, big problem."

      Just as serious, he said, is the lack of an opposition figure capable
of inspiring Zimbabweans to risk their lives for political change. Morgan
Tsvangirai, president of the MDC, has been repeatedly arrested and charged
with treason, inciting a coup and other crimes under the country's Draconian
security laws. Tsvangirai was arrested and charged with treason again Friday
because of "the many statements he has been making calling for the violent
removal of the president," police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said.

      But Ncube believes the former union leader, favored in the stolen 2002
elections, has failed to lead Zimbabweans into the streets.

      "We need someone like Gandhi to stand up for his rights even if he is
shot," Ncube said. "People have to be courageous. Up to now they have been
very cautious."

      MDC leaders say they believe their best bet of forcing Mugabe's
resignation - and new elections in three months, under constitutional
rules - is to arrange a barrage of small street protests across the country
that will quickly disperse when police and soldiers are trucked in. Such
pressure, they hope, will help deplete the government's limited resources of
fuel and cash and eventually drive Mugabe toward economic, if not political,

      Drawing crowds to the streets, however, won't be easy. Calls for a
major protest march Friday in Bulawayo fizzled when no one showed up and MDC
leaders, fearful of being arrested and beaten, failed to take to the streets
themselves in the face of a heavy police presence.

      That doesn't mean Mugabe can hold on to power through intimidation
alone, however, opposition leaders said.

      "People may have been deterred now, but it hasn't taken away their
anger, and the economic problems remain," Coltart said.

      "The situation is unsustainable," he insisted, "and the process of
change absolutely irreversible."

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EU slams Zim government
07/06/2003 13:14  - (SA)

Athens - The European Union has accused Zimbabwe's government of
intimidating political opponents after the arrest of opposition leader
Morgan Tsvangirai.

"The EU is deeply concerned by the arrest of Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai, the
leader of MDC (Movement for Democratic Change)," the EU's Greek presidency
said in a statement released late on Friday.

The arrest and subsequent charge for treason shows that President Robert
Mugabe's government is "increasing its repressive and intimidating measures
against the opposition," the text added.

The EU had earlier urged Mugabe's government to abstain from violence in
dealing with mass protests this week which saw hundreds arrested and beaten.

The European bloc called itself a "friend of Zimbabwe," and urged Harare to
adopt a "policy of national dialogue and respect for human rights".

It said it would support efforts to that effect, whether they came from
Zimbabwe's political parties or from regional powers.

Earlier this week regional powerhouse South Africa urged Zimbabwe's
conflicting parties to relaunch talks amid renewed violence, but local media
countered that Pretoria lacked the leadership to take decisive action.

Tsvangirai's arrest on Friday was also condemned by the United States.

The opposition leader, 51, was detained at his home and taken to a police
station in central Harare on the last day of mass anti-government protests,
an official for his MDC party said.

The MDC had set Friday as "D-Day" and called for people to "rise up in your
millions" in marches in cities around the country. But scores of ruling
party supporters and state security agents in the streets stopped
demonstrations from getting off the ground.

The party blames the government for chronic economic hardships and
widespread shortages affecting most Zimbabweans. Around 80 percent of the
country's 11.6 million people live in poverty, and inflation is officially
at 269 percent. - Sapa-AFP
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Secret Zim talks in Jhb
08/06/2003 12:49  - (SA)

Johannesburg - The government and opposition in crisis-wracked Zimbabwe are
involved in secret talks aimed at starting negotiations on a transitional
government, the Sunday Times newspaper reported here on Sunday.

President Thabo Mbeki and his Nigerian counterpart Olusegun Obasanjo are
facilitating the behind-the-scenes dialogue, the Johannesburg-based
newspaper said without citing any specific sources.

Members of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front
(Zanu-PF) and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) are
meeting on a weekly basis in an attempt to start negotiations on a
transitional government that would include the opposition and possibly lead
to new elections.

The Sunday paper said it could confirm that the last meeting took place last
week, but that the MDC-organised, anti-government demonstrations in Zimbabwe
prevented the parties from meeting this week.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was on Friday arrested and charged with treason
after he called for Zimbabweans to demonstrate to show their anger against
the government.

Tsvangirai was due in court on Monday after a hearing scheduled for Saturday
was postponed for technical reasons.

The planned marches were forcefully suppressed by police.

The MDC blames the government of Robert Mugabe for chronic economic
hardships and widespread shortages affecting most Zimbabweans.

It has refused to accept the results of the March 2002 presidential
election, in which Tsvangirai unsuccessfully ran against Mugabe, and
challenged them in court.

The court challenge is said to have put a damper on the possibility of
negotiations between the MDC and Zanu-PF.

Mbeki, Obasanjo and Malawian President Bakili Muluzi, visited Zimbabwe
earlier this month in a bid to persuade the two parties to resume talks.

South Africa has come under fierce criticism for refusing to speak out
against Mugabe's increasingly authoritarian style. But Mbeki has maintained
he would continue to try and assist Zimbabweans to find a negotiated
solution to their problems.

"More than ever before, we are convinced that a solution of the current
changes facing Zimbabwe lies in dialogue between Zanu-PF and the MDC,"
foreign ministry spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said on Tuesday.

"Acting in the best interests of the country, we will continue our actions,
as part of regional efforts, to assist the people of Zimbabwe in this
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