Jailed Zimbabwean journalist urges isolation due to virus

A Justice of the Peace had earlier dominated that Chin’ono ought to be remoted and that he mustn’t share transport with different inmates whereas being taken to courtroom. But Chin’ono mentioned he’s not being separated from others.

“I was in the truck with 22 other prisoners coming from Chikurubi who were dropped at the High Court. And yet the court ruled that I should be alone in the truck. They are violating (the order) and exposing all the other prisoners and officers to COVID-19,” mentioned Chin’ono after climbing from the automobile in handcuffs and leg irons.

Job Sikhala, a member of parliament for the primary opposition social gathering, the MDC Alliance, and Fadzayi Mahere, a spokesman for the social gathering, additionally appeared in courtroom Tuesday on comparable prices. Sikhala, additionally handcuffed and in leg irons, traveled in the identical jail truck as Chin’ono.

The journalist and the opposition officers had been arrested after they tweeted that police had crushed an toddler to dying whereas imposing COVID-19 lockdown guidelines. Police later mentioned the data was false.

Chin’ono’s legal professionals argue that the regulation he’s being charged beneath was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court in 2014 as a result of it violated freedom of speech. Prosecutors argue that the regulation continues to be related. Magistrate Lazini Ncube mentioned he’ll rule on the matter Wednesday.

Chin’ono has mentioned he’ll stay in jail whereas difficult the regulation. He gave a handwritten assertion to reporters on Monday, saying he is not going to apply for bail to spotlight his resistance to the regulation.

“I would have totally sold out the journalism profession and the nation if I chose my immediate liberty over the media’s right to exercise its right to speak and be protected after speaking,” he mentioned within the assertion.

If convicted, Chin’ono faces a positive or up to 20 years in jail.

Critics accuse President Emmerson Mnangagwa of utilizing arrests, detentions and prosecutions to silence dissenting voices, the identical techniques utilized by his predecessor, the late Robert Mugabe, who was deposed in a coup in 2017.

Mnangagwa and his officers say their administration has elevated freedoms and as an alternative accuses Chin’ono, the opposition and non-governmental organizations of working with western nations to destabilize the federal government.

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