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Lawyers file urgent application in Gift Phiri case
April 04, 2007

Lawyers representing detained Zimbabwean chief reporter, Gift Phiri on 4 April 2007 filed an urgent High Court application to secure his release.

Rangu Nyamundira of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights filed the application which seeks to have the continued detention of Phiri declared illegal and a violation of his right to protection of the law which stipulates that he should be brought before a competent court within 48 hours of his arrest and detention. The stipulated 48-hour legal limit has expired.

In the interim the lawyers are seeking an order prohibiting the police from hindering access to Phiri by his lawyers and doctors. His lawyers have been struggling to get access to him since his arrest on 1 April 2007.

Lawyers also battled to serve the application on the police officers listed who are listed as respondents. MISA-Zimbabwe Legal Officer Wilbert Mandinde, who was serving the papers with Tafadzwa Mugabe and Aleck Muchadehama, explained how police officers manning the entrance to the Law and Order Section had denied them access to the Officer Commanding Law and Order. This is despite the fact that the papers cite the Officer Commanding Law and Order Section as the respondent.

Phiri was arrested at Sunningdale Shopping Centre on Sunday afternoon. He was briefly detained at Sunningdale Police Post before being transferred to Harare Central Police Station.

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