[JURIST] The EU General Court [official website] on Wednesday upheld [decision] sanctions placed on individuals and companies in Zimbabwe. The action, brought in 2012 by Zimbabwe’s Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and 120 other individuals, challenged sanctions first imposed in 2002 as a result of the EU’s concerns regarding pre-election violence and “serious infringements of human rights” committed by the government of Zimbabwe. The sanctions, which are renewable on a 12-month basis, have mostly been ratcheted back in recent years, with only President Robert Mugabe, his wife and one defense company still subject to the asset freeze and travel ban. The decision can still be appealed to the EU’s highest court, the European Court of Justice.
The human rights record of Mugabe and his government has triggered numerous sanctions and condemnations from nations and rights groups. In January Amnesty International [advocacy website] urged [JURIST report] Mugabe to address human rights concerns in Zimbabwe and other parts of the African continent. Also in January Zimbabwe’s High Court [official website] ordered [JURIST report] an immediate halt to the demolition of the homes of farmers who were evicted to clear space for a game park envisioned by First Lady Grace Mugabe. In September 2013 the high court ordered the release [JURIST report] of 21 activist members of the opposition party that had been detained for over two years.