EU to lift ban on Zimbabwe’s ‘blood diamonds’ despite torture claims

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Bruno Waterfield
London Telegraph
August 8, 2011

An investigation by BBC Panorama has spoken to victims who told of severe beatings and sexual assault in camps in the area, said to be one of the world’s most significant diamond fields.

The latest allegations have emerged as the EU prepares to lift a two year old ban on diamonds from Zimbabwe allowing the Mugabe regime to cash in on the lucrative natural resource.

In 2009, officials acted on reports of large-scale killings and abuse by security forces in the Marange diamond fields in the east of the country to implement a blanket ban on Zimbabwe’s “blood diamonds”.

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But the EU has now decided that two mines in Marange now meet international standards under the Kimberley Process, the international organisation that polices the sale of diamonds from conflict regions.

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