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Zimbabwean Newspaper Editor Arrested For 'Publishing Falsehoods'


Zimbabwean police on Thursday arrested the editor of the Standard, an independent weekly newspaper, on charges that he published falsehoods in connection with an opinion article by an opposition politician printed more than two weeks ago.

A lawyer representing Davison Maruziva, who remained in police custody Thursday night, said the newspaper editor was also facing contempt of court charges.

The article in question was written by Arthur Mutambara, leader of a formation of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, and entitled "A Shameful Betrayal of National Independence." Zimbabwe's Independence Day is observed on April 18.

Meanwhile, a Reuters news agency photographer detained by Zimbabwean police was released on bail after three days in custody. Howard Burditt, a Zimbabwean national, was arrested for allegedly using a satellite phone to transmit pictures while covering the aftermath of the country's recent elections.

Zimbabwean officials say it is illegal to use a satellite phone unless it has been registered.

Rights groups and the MDC say President Mugabe and his supporters are trying to intimidate perceived opponents ahead of a possible run-off election.

Elsewhere, the two top officers of the Zimbabwe Congress Of Trade Unions were arrested on Thursday and similarly charged with uttering falsehoods.

ZCTU Secretary General Wellington Chibebe and the union's president, Lovemore Matombo, are accused of inciting the public to rise against the government in May Day speeches, and uttering falsehoods in charging opposition members are being killed.

Maruziva’s lawyer, Arthur Mutsonziwa, briefed reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe on his client's situation.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...

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