Zimbabwe boycott may be needed: Robinson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Zimbabwe boycott may be needed: Robinson

08/05/2007 01:40:55 AM Comments (0)

A sporting boycott may be the only way to stop the human rights travesty occurring in Zimbabwe, former Irish president Mary Robinson says.

And she believes the havoc being wrought by the brutal regime of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is akin to what happened in South Africa under apartheid.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer will meet with Cricket Australia this week to convince them to withdraw the Australian team from a tour of Zimbabwe in September.

The federal government is worried that a tour of the troubled African nation by the Australian cricketers would be a propaganda victory for President Mugabe.

Ms Robinson, the honorary president of Oxfam International, told ABC Television the situation in Zimbabwe had to be dealt with and a sporting boycott may be the way to do it.

"It is a huge human rights travesty what is happening," she said.

"And it's the poorest blacks that are affected, many who try to get across the borders now ... because they cannot live in country where inflation is so rampant, where there is a cronyism of the few and devastation and terrible poverty and terrible, terrible concern about hyper inflation for so many."

Mrs Robinson said the situation in Zimbabwe was so bad it was akin to the devastation caused by apartheid in South Africa.

"(This problem) has to be tackled, maybe a sporting route is one way to tackle it," she said.

"I hope this is bringing home to the population of Australia that there needs to be political pressure, there needs to be UN pressure, there needs to be much more attention, especially from the neighbouring African countries who can probably bring the most effective pressure of all on Zimbabwe and President Mugabe."

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