Zimbabwe opposition supporters charged in post-election strike violence

[JURIST] Twenty-eight anti-government activists were indicted in Zimbabwe on Monday on public disorder charges related to a strike [JURIST report] organized by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) [party website] last week to protest the nondisclosure of the results in the March 29 presidential election [JURIST report]. All the defendants pleaded not guilty during a court hearing Monday, during which defense lawyers alleged that police and soldiers had beaten some of the activists in custody to extract confessions. The MDC accused authorities of only prosecuting government critics, while ignoring violence it says has been perpetrated by pro-government militias.

On Thursday, current Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and his Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) [party website] accused [JURIST report] MDC candidate Morgan Tsvangirai [BBC profile] of treason, saying that Tsvangirai and Britain are conspiring to overthrow Mugabe. MDC Secretary General Tendai Biti said Sunday that more than 400 supporters of the MDC have been detained [JURIST report] and more than 3,000 families displaced since the March 29 election, in which Tsvangirai claims to have won more votes than Mugabe. AFP has more.



 

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