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THE European Union says they are “concerned” about the country’s human rights situation and are closely monitoring it with the aim of providing support to critical areas which enhance democracy.

According to the EU, the bloc is looking at the media, civil society and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission as main areas worth supporting.

The human rights situation is seen as deteriorating with the state accused of violating citizens’ basic rights.

Violations include the crushing of peaceful protesters by the police and forced disappearances of social and political rights activists.

In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, head of international cooperation with the European Union delegation to Zimbabwe, Paula Vazquez Horyaans, said they were working towards increasing capacity of democracy and human rights enablers in Zimbabwe.

“We are interested particularly in the role of the media in elections and work is already in progress with the civil society and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to support a democratic electoral process and his is what we are discussing with them to see where there are gaps which need to be filled in terms of support,” she said.

She said they were disturbed by the continued use of the Public Order and Security Act, (POSA) and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) to muzzle both the civil society and the media.

“In our dialogue with the government, the civil society and the judiciary these are the issues we always discuss and we are concerned about,” she said.

Zimbabwe was in 2002, slapped with sanctions by EU, America and their allies over human rights violations.

The EU, however, started to lift the embargo on President Mugabe and his allies during the tenure of the Unity Government of veteran leader’s Zanu PF and the two MDC formations, citing an improvement in the country’s human rights situation.



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