Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin'ono, accused of inciting violence, granted bail

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Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin'ono has been released on bail.
Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin'ono has been released on bail.
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  • Zimbabwean journalist, Hopewell Chin'ono has been granted bail.
  • His bail was previously denied three times following his arrest in July.
  • This comes amid growing reports of alleged human rights violations in Zimbabwe.

Prominent Zimbabwean investigative journalist, Hopewell Chin'ono, has been granted bail in the High Court in Harare.

Human rights lawyer, Doug Coltart, confirmed to News24 on Wednesday he had been granted bail and that they planned to have him released from prison on Wednesday night.

Chin'ono was previously denied bail three times following his arrest in July on charges of inciting Zimbabweans to join a planned anti-government protest during the coronavirus outbreak, News24 report.

The 49-year-old recently collaborated with fellow journalist Mduduzi Mathuthu, on an exposé into alleged Covid-19 corruption, prior to his arrest on 20 July.

Coltart told News24 they had not yet received the results of Chin'ono's Covid-19 test result.

Speaking to the media outside the court, Coltart said while he was happy that his client was granted bail, he noted that Chin'ono suffered a great injustice as he had been incarcerated for over a month.

Infringe

Coltart also decried the stringent bail conditions which "infringe on his constitutional rights".

"Our priority is that he gets out tonight," he told the media.

One of Chin'ono's bail conditions instructed him "not to post on his twitter account or to create any other twitter account to use to incite the holding of mass demonstrations for whatever purpose until the end of his matter".

READ: 'Regime lashes out whenever there's a threat to their hold on power' - Zimbabwean journalist alleges

There had been growing reports of alleged human rights violations in the country which prompted the campaign #ZimbabweanLivesMatter, which garnered attention across the globe.

Several Zimbabwean journalists and activists were arrested, allegedly abducted or beaten over the past few weeks after they spoke out against alleged corruption or were critical of the Zanu-PF led government.

Chin'ono was among those targeted, while Mathuthu was not present when his home was raided.

In addition, acclaimed novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga, 61, was arrested during anti-government protests and was later released on bail.

News24 earlier reported that the writer was charged with incitement to commit violence and breaching anti-coronavirus health regulations after staging a two-women demonstration in Harare.

ALSO READ: Presidency confirms envoys to head back to Zimbabwe amid alleged human rights violation reports

The South African presidency confirmed on Monday that the three special envoys to Zimbabwe would return - at a date that had not yet been set - to engage other relevant stakeholders on the current events unfolding in Zimbabwe.

This came after several key stakeholders were snubbed during the first visit which was merely confined to the head of state, News24 reported.

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