Zimbabwe slams sanctions, defends rights record
Zimbabwe defended its human rights record at a UN hearing Monday while slamming sanctions against the country which it said brought hardship and violated human rights.
"Zimbabwe is a member of the international community and remains committed to its obligations on human rights," Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told the Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review.
He said Zimbabwe had reformed its constitution on several occasions to improve the human rights situation.
"We adopted among others laws on the protection of children and orphans, laws against family violence and laws that ensure the rights of NGOs working in our country," said Chinamasa.
He therefore criticised the "illegal economic sanctions against Zimbabwe, which contributes a lot to the suffering of the Zimbabwe people and which are violations of human rights."
The European Union has imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe since 2002 due to repeated rights violations by longserving President Robert Mugabe's regime.
The sanctions include an arms embargo, as well as travel bans and assets freeze on a list of Zimbabweans, including Mugabe himself.
© 2011 AFP