Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono freed on bail after latest arrest


Zimbabwean journalist and government critic Hopewell Chin'ono was arrested on Friday on charges of communicating false information, his third arrest inside six months, his lawyer said.

Award-winning Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, who has been jailed three times in six months for anti-government tweets, was granted bail Wednesday by the country’s High Court after nearly three weeks in pre-trial detention.

Police arrested the outspoken journalist on 8 January for sharing a video he claimed showed a police officer beating a baby to death, an account that was denied.

After being refused bail and held in a high security prison, Chin’ono was on Wednesday granted provisional release in exchange for a bond of Z$20 000 and ordered to surrender his passport.

The journalist is required to report twice a week to a Harare police station, surrender the title deeds to his residence and stop using Twitter to “incite the holding of mass demonstrations” while on bail, the court said.

Chin’ono was arrested in July for tweeting that an opposition political party was planning nationwide demonstrations against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.

In November, he was again arrested for pre-empting a judicial decision before it was handed down and subsequently jailed in a maximum security prison.

Mnangagwa is increasingly under fire for his response to dissent since he took over from long-time leader Robert Mugabe in November 2017.

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