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The U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe this week warned that the southern African nation - beset with a tyrannical government, hyperinflation and massive unemployment - remains one of the most dangerous places for journalists.

“Journalists and publishers continue to be under threat for doing their work, with a dangerous increase in self-censorship due to the fear of criminal defamatory suits,” Ambassador Charles Ray said in a speech at the 10th anniversary of the Radio Voice of the People Trust, an independent radio network.

Under President Robert Mugabe, political opponents face brutal repression, unemployment has soared to 94 percent and inflation has hit a staggering 100 percent a day. In December 2008, the Forbes Asia financial magazine estimated the annual inflation rate at 6.5 quindecillion novemdecillion percent - 65 followed by 107 zeros.

  • Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.