Africa

Zimbabwe journalist Chin’ono denied bail after second arrest


Zimbabwean journalist and documentary filmmaker Hopewell Chin’ono (2nd L) consults with his lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa (L) and Doug Coltart (R) while police search his office in Harare on July 21, 2020, a day after he was arrested and charged with incitement to commit public violence.

  • A court in Zimbabwe denied bail on Thursday for journalist and government critic Hopewell Chin’ono.
  • The arrest of Chin’ono and dozens of activists has led to accusations that the government is persecuting the opposition.
  • Chin’ono has denied the latest charges, saying he is being persecuted for exposing corruption in government.

A court in Zimbabwe denied bail on Thursday for journalist and government critic Hopewell Chin’ono after his arrest last week on charges of obstruction of justice.

The arrest of Chin’ono and dozens of activists in the last four months has led to accusations that the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa is persecuting the opposition, a charge the authorities deny.

Chin’ono, who uses social media posts to criticise the government, was first arrested in July on charges of inciting violent anti-government protests.

After his latest arrest, he was charged with contempt of court but prosecutors dropped those charges. He is now accused of attempting to “defeat the course of justice” after he posted comments on Twitter about the National Prosecuting Authority.

Chin’ono has denied the latest charges, saying he is being persecuted for exposing corruption in government.

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Magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa ruled that Chin’ono should stay in prison custody while awaiting trial because “the accused person has a propensity to commit offences”.

Doug Coltart, one of Chin’ono’s lawyers, said an appeal against the ruling would be made at the High Court.

Chin’ono was first detained for more than a month at a maximum-security prison until his release on bail on 2 September The embassies of the United States and Britain have criticised the arrest of Chin’ono.

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