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  • Strikes and Protests 2007- Save Zimbabwe Campaign

  • Zim court allows Mugabe opponents to leave
    Mail & Guardian (SA)
    March 22, 2007

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    Zimbabwe's High Court has allowed two opposition officials to travel abroad for medical treatment after they were barred from leaving the country by police last weekend, official media reported on Thursday.

    The reversal came days after police said that opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and dozens of others arrested on March 12 in a rally against President Robert Mugabe could not leave the Southern African nation until they appeared in the court.

    High court judge Barat Patel ordered that Sekai Holland and Grace Kwinje, who were arrested again on Saturday as they tried to board a flight to South Africa, be released and their travel documents returned, according to the Herald newspaper.

    Patel said Kwinje and Holland, who said they were beaten by police in custody, could leave the country but should inform the police before doing so.

    On Monday, the high court also ordered the release of Arthur Mutambara, who heads a splinter faction of the Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), after his arrest on Saturday as he tried to leave for Zimbabwe's southern neighbour.

    A court hearing for those arrested in the anti-Mugabe prayer rally was cancelled last week after a state prosecutor ordered that the detainees, including a bruised Tsvangirai, be taken to hospital for treatment.

    Pictures of an injured Tsvangirai on his way to hospital drew international outrage. The United States and Britain led a chorus of Western criticism of Mugabe and threatened to impose more sanctions against the 83-year-old ruler and his government.

    Mugabe's government this week summoned and warned Western diplomats in Harare that they would be expelled if they meddled in local politics. Mugabe has accused the West of funding the MDC to topple him from power amid a deepening economic crisis. -- Reuters

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