Lawyers representing the Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, held in prison for more than a month pending trial on charges of inciting violence, will make a fresh attempt to free him on Friday. The new effort to free Chin’ono comes as international concern grows over an ongoing crackdown in Zimbabwe, during which between 50 and 100 opposition party officials, writers, labour activists and others have been arrested and often detained. The US, UK, EU and others have condemned the repression. Local clergy also published a scathing open letter accusing the country’s president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and his government of rampant corruption and an abuse of power in what they described as an unprecedented crackdown. Images of political detainees being led to court in leg irons have caused outrage. Trial documents reveal appalling conditions in the prison. Chin’ono is held with 40 others in a cell designed to hold 12 inmates, and is the only unconvicted prisoner, which is a breach of international law.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN