- The European Union Council has renewed the body's restrictive measures against Zimbabwe for a year.
The ban, which remains in force until 20 February 2009, was a response to an earlier call by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).
Both unions received the renewal of the ban with delight. “The ITUC welcomes this position as there has been no improvement in the situation regarding trade union and other human rights in the country”, Guy Ryder, the General Secretary of ITUC, said.
Zimbabwe had first got the anger of the EU in February 2002 after its government was accused of gross violations of rights. Zimbabwean officials were banned from entering into the EU while individuals that engage in activities that seriously undermine democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law, had their financial assets frozen.
The EU had also imposed an embargo on the supply of arms and equipment intended for military operations in the southern African country.
The Council also endorsed that Zimbabwe should be suspended from accessing support from the European Development Fund for a year. The country was accused of continuously flouting the essential provisions of the ACP-EU partnership agreement.
The international trade union movement has damned Zimbabwean police for their brutal attack on nine teacher trade unionists on Tuesday.
Alongside their President, Raymond Majongwe, the teacher unionists were arrested and beaten as they started distributing leaflets about Zimbabwe's education crisis.
They were taken to the police station where further savage beatings were administered, resulting to the hospitalisation of five who are nursing broken bones and other injuries.
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