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  • Writer's picturerutendo matinyarare


Updated: Nov 22, 2021

US, EU, UK, Canada and Australian sanctions on Zimbabwe are a violation of human rights and a crime against humanity because they are:

● illegal,

● unilateral (punishment not imposed by the international body of nations, international legal bodies, international law or due process as is required by the UN charter and human rights law),

● indiscriminate,

● disproportionate,

● racially biased,

● collective,

● extrajudicial punishment or persecution of innocent civilians, investors, administrators, business people, government officials, politicians, their relatives and anyone who does business with them,

● without those people who are being punished, being given a fair trial, the right to defend themselves, due process and being found guilty, beyond reasonable doubt by a court or tribunal in this world.

● As a result, this collective punishment or persecution deprives innocent Zimbabwean civilians of food, water, medicine, healthcare, jobs, economic development, infrastructure, which in turn displaces millions of people into being refugees, leading to the deaths of thousands of people due to the above extrajudicial punishment, prohibitions and deprivation.

● These sanctions also deprive innocent civilians of their rights to life; social cultural, political and legal rights. They are literally akin to carpet bombing of civilians in peacetime.

● More critically, they are an extraterritorial imposition of US domestic law upon a sovereign nation as if Zimbabwe is a non-self governing territory or colony of the United States.

● What is problematic about these sanctions is they were imposed unilaterally by the same Berlin Conference nations that built their high standards of living by collectively punishing and exploiting Africans over the last 700yrs, through the crimes against humanity of discovery law, slavery, colonialism and now they maintain their economies by invasions, wars, sponsored civil war and sanctions for resources, without UN multi-lateral oversight

● The US, EU, UK, Canada and Australia (The Berlin Conference Cabal), which are all UN Charter signatories, imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe unilaterally, without pursuing their purported grievances with Zimbabwe through the multi-lateral, impartial UN dispute resolution mechanisms as the UN Charter enjoins member states to do.

● Additionally, these countries, unilaterally imposed these sanctions without undertaking prerequisite Human Rights Impact Assessment studies, to ensure that civilians would not be deprived of the enjoyment of their human rights under these unilateral sanctions.

● Over the past twenty years, these same countries did not undertake impact assessment studies every year that they reviewed and renewed their sanctions on Zimbabwe, as mandated by the UNHRC for all multi-lateral UN sanctions.

● The sanctions senders have not mitigated or addressed the unintentional violation of civilian human rights or suffering caused by their unilateral, illegal sanctions, which they are meant to do after each annual human rights impact assessment.

This goes to show that the intention of these sanctions is to punish Zimbabwean civilians and to violate their human rights to force them to revolt against their government and not to punish purported and untested human rights violations by the Zimbabwean government.

According to the definition of a Crime Against Humanity by the Rome Statute, an accepted international legal custom aligned with international conventions on human rights, Zimbabwean civilians are being persecuted (discriminated and deprived of food, clean water, healthcare, education, jobs, life, economic development, technology, global trade, the use of the global reserve currency, payment clearances; social, cultural, economic and political rights) as a nation and racial group, as punishment for decolonizing the economy, taking back their land and economy from colonial settlers, in order to self-determine.

We could even go further and define these sanctions as a racially engineered genocide because a part of our people are being killed and displaced by the west intentionally depriving the Zimbabwean people of food, clean water, healthcare, medicine, sovereignty, free international trade, payments, markets and economic development.

This persecution is in pursuance of the systematic objective of reversing decolonization in Africa in order to maintain neo-colonialism in Africa, white supremacy in the colonial administrations of the United States, Australia, Canada and to perpetuate the domination of native peoples all across the world for the unfettered exploitation of the resources of these non-self-governing and self governing territories.

All this is done with the support of the EU and their post colonial systems [against the EU Human Rights Convention] to protect and maintain the benefits the EU derives from the unjust enrichment gained from 700 years of the crimes against humanity of slavery, colonialism and today’s neo-colonialism.

For this reason, the EU is complicit with the US, UK, Australia and Canada in perpetuating these crimes against humanity because they continue to benefit from the cheap resources, brain draining and captive markets in former and current colonies, in which their corporations hold property rights earned from the 1453 Discovery Doctrine, which brought about the crimes against humanity of slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism.

We need to start calling these sanctions what they are, a continuation of colonialism [crimes against humanity] and thereafter we must lobby our government, SADC, the AU, civil society organizations, humanitarian organizations, impartial media and political groupings to back a legal fight in international courts and multi-lateral institutions, against this prevailing crime against Africans.

As Africans, we must never expect to be treated as human beings, until we start claiming our humanity from those who treat black humanity as secondary and divisible to other human rights.

Rutendo Bereza Matinyarare of ZASM and ZUAUWS.

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