Zimbabwe

No bail for Zim rights group leader

2013-01-16 20:01

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Zimbabwe journalists win free speech victory
Zimbabwe journalists win free speech victory

Two Zimbabwean journalists have won a victory for free speech when the Constitutional Court struck off a statute which made defamation a crime punishable by up to 20 years.

Harare - A Zimbabwe court has refused to release on bail a human rights leader facing allegations of fraud and forgery relating to election documents.

State prosecutors alleged Wednesday that Okay Machisa, head of the independent Zimbabwe Human Rights Association, obtained a voter registration form and made counterfeit copies ahead of elections scheduled later this year.

Machisa, arrested Monday, denies any wrongdoing. He is to be held in jail to reappear in court on 30 January.

His organisation says it routinely monitors election procedures and voter registration and voter education programmes in the interests of free and fair polling.

Rights groups have condemned Machisa's arrest as a ploy to intimidate activists in the run-up to elections to end a shaky coalition government formed after the last disputed and violent polling in 2008.

- AP

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  zimbabwe elections
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