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Mugabe tries to end EU sanctions

Zimbabwe prepares to send a petition with 2.5 million signatures to Brussels.

Chihuri reminded Zimbabweans that anyone caught plotting to unseat the government through mass protests would be dealt with “to the full extent of the law.”

He referred to the court case in which six people, including university professor Munyaradzi Gwisai, were found guilty last month of conspiring to commit public violence for watching videos of the Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Although the six received relatively lenient sentences of community service, the fact that they were jailed, tried and convicted for watching general news videos should be ample proof that the Mugabe regime remains repressive, according to human-rights workers.

More from GlobalPost: Zimbabwe activists get community service for watching Arab Spring videos

According to the agreement that created the coalition government between Mugabe's Zanu-PF party and Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change, the government is committed to working with the police and other law enforcement agencies to promote freedom of assembly and other basic rights.

But that has not happened, according to human-rights defenders, who say that police continue to harass opposition politicians, journalists and human-rights activists.

Mugabe’s envoys may argue loudly in Brussels for the removal of sanctions, but EU diplomats in Harare say they are well aware that considerable work must be done to allow for free and fair elections, and that is what the sanctions are all about.

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