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Pressure Mounts to Release Zimbabwe Activists

Zimbabwean rights activist and a journalist were charged in court on Wednesday with promoting public violence ahead of planned anti-government protests next week and will be kept in jail until a bail ruling on Thursday. Zimbabwean police say reporter Hopewell Chin’ono and the leader of the political group Transform Zimbabwe, Jacob Ngarivhume, were stoking violence ahead of a planned July 31 anti-government protest.  Their supporters called the arrests a blatant attempt to silence voices against government corruption and abuse of power. Detective Inspector Morgan Chafa, who arrested Chin’ono, asked journalists to leave the premises of Chin’ono’s home on Tuesday.  Police wanted to confiscate all his equipment, which they say he used to broadcast calls to “incite public violence” ahead of a planned nationwide protest on July 31. A usually jovial Chin’ono, remained mum and subdued as his legal team argued with police. After some time, the police produced the warrant, but the lawyers said it only allowed them to confiscate “documents.”  The police eventually left without taking the equipment. But Chin’ono remains in police custody, one day after he was arrested at his home.