EU Suspends Zimbabwe Sanctions Following Constitution Referendum
The European Union suspended the majority of the sanctions which it has been imposing on Zimbabwe on Monday, after a “peaceful, successful and credible” referendum on a new constitution for the country.
“The EU congratulates the people of Zimbabwe on a peaceful, successful and credible vote to approve a new constitution,” said an EU statement.
The European Union first imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2002 due to concerns over rigged elections and political violence. Ten companies and 81 individuals will now have sanctions against them lifted. President Mugabe and 9 others, however, will still be subject to an EU assets freeze and travel ban.
Following the successful referendum vote, hopes are now high that election due for later this year will to free, fair, and without violence.
Human Rights Lawyer Released
In related news, the leading human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa was released on bail ($500) by a Zimbabwe court on Monday. Mtetwa’s detention had sparked fears of a crackdown on dissent by Mugabe’s security forces. She was arrested on a charge of obstructing police after taking photographs of, and shouting at a group of officers searching the home of an official loyal to Mugabe’s opponent Morgan Tsvangirai.
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