In a recent visit to Zimbabwe, UN high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay called for sanctions to be lifted. Ms Pillay argued that the sanctions are hurting the poor.

The US and EU have in place targeted sanctions on President Mugabe and some of his close aides.

However, Pillay’s claim is disputed by human rights groups, experts and Diaspora groups.

While Ms. Pillay did not repeat this call at her speech before the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, Zimbabwe, Cuba and many African governments called for the lifting of sanctions. UN Watch, in its speech before the Council, decried this suggestion, arguing that we should “oppose granting Mugabe a propaganda coup.”

Below some of the statements delivered before the plenary:

Zimbabwe: We have nothing to hide regarding the human rights of its people. During a visit, High Commissioner found herself face to face with illegal sanctions imposed by the West on Zimbabwe. Serious ramifications on the most vulnerable populations on Zimbabwe. I have to hear a single Zimbabwean in the country think the sanctions should continue. All Western countries concerned should remove sanctions. They remain the major obstacle to fledgling economy’s recovery. Illegal sanctions remain toxic to efforts. Must be removed unconditionally, not tomorrow, but yesterday.

Cuba: On Zimbabwe, we think it’s a priority to condemn unilateral measures against that people which are clearly illegal.

Angola: Lift the sanctions on Zimbabwe which are hitting hard the population.

Iran: On the recent visit to Zimbabwe, High Commissioner emphasized that sanctions have had negative impact on economy at large, with possible quite serious ramifications for the country’s most vulnerable and poor population. The issues related to the targeting of individuals should one day be sorted out in a court of law, which is the appropriate place to deal with this serious crime. Could you more elaborate more on this issue?

Sudan: Zimbabwe has shown negative repercussions of unilateral action.

Uganda: Appreciate her visit to Zimbabwe. Illegal sanctions imposed by some Western countries have a devastating effect on lives of Zimbabweans. Convinced after this is done Zimbabwe can pursue meaningful growth, provide systematic human rights to its peoples without being crippled.

Kenya: Human rights is a process based on continued engagement. In this context, immediate lifting of sanctions. Effect has been devastating to the people of Zimbabwe and the country’s economy. Effect of sanctions is very real. Sanctions impact on lives, especially most vulnerable, the women and children in Zimbabwe.

Namibia: In regard to remarks on Zimbabwe, disappointed she did not reiterate her statement regarding unilateral sanctions: she made a clear statement to suspend sanctions; sanctions are a deterrent to investors and have a negative impact on country at large. Sanctions should be lifted with immediate effect.



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