BERN, SWITZERLAND – Sanctions against Zimbabwe were tightened by Switzerland Wednesday 27 February with the addition of 20 names to the list of officials and companies banned from traveling to and through the country. The group was added to the consolidated sanctions list published 3 January, which includes President Robert Mugabe.
Switzerland has had sanctions against Zimbabwe since 2002, but they have gradually been tightened as Mugabe’s regime has proved to be increasingly repressive. Shortwave radios have been banned and are being seized, with the government saying they are being used to send hate messages. The ban effectively prevents the opposition from reaching voters outside the capital.
The ban also cover military equipment, which cannot be supplied to anyone on the list, and financial assets: no assets can be held in Switzerland nor funds made available to those on the sanctioned list. Assets already in Switzerland are frozen.
Anyone in Switzerland who suspects financial transactions linked to those on the list is legally obliged to immediately inform Seco, the State Secretariat for the Economy.
Switzerland has tightened the sanctions, along with the European Union and the United States, because of violations of the right to vote freely in the run-up to elections in March, as well as human rights abuses: the list details the crimes of which officials are accused.