Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Zimbabwe court dismisses activists' bid for freedom

Jestina Mukoko, Trying to get attention for the plight of Zimbabweans which is DIRE.

By Nelson Banya

Harare - A Zimbabwean court Tuesday ruled that a leading human rights advocate and eight other activists should remain in custody, in a case that has raised further doubts over a power-sharing deal. The state has charged Jestina Mukoko, who leads a local rights group, and the other activists with recruiting or trying to recruit people for military training to topple President Robert Mugabe's government. The arrests have raised tensions in Zimbabwe, where Mugabe and the opposition are locked in a long dispute over allocation of cabinet posts under the power-sharing agreement, seen as the best chance of easing a deep economic crisis. Defense lawyers had argued that the activists had been abducted, not legally arrested, and that Zimbabwe's High Court had already ordered that they be freed. "All the accused should remain in custody pending determination of the matters in the superior courts," said magistrate Olivia Mariga in her ruling.

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