Tighter sanctions against Zimbabwe

The Australian Government condemns the massive destruction of homes and livelihoods under the Mugabe Government's "Operation Restore Order".

Under this brutal operation, Zimbabwean police have razed shelters and market stalls in urban centres, arrested more than 20,000 people and driven thousands of families into the countryside.

The Government's actions have created an internal refugee crisis at a time of food shortages in Zimbabwe caused by economic mismanagement and drought.

Once again the Mugabe regime has demonstrated its contempt for basic human rights and the rule of law. The regime should focus on the real issues of concern to its people instead of punishing those whom it considers oppose it.

Australia urges the Government of Zimbabwe to immediately halt the operation and provide food and shelter for those in need.

These developments underline the need to maintain sanctions against the Mugabe regime.

To reinforce Australia's own smart sanctions regime, the Government has decided to discontinue the privilege extended to Zimbabwean passport holders, including diplomatic passport holders, to transit Australian airports on their way to a third country without holding an Australian visa.