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Zimbabwe Journalist Freed After Court Order - 2002-04-01


Zimbabwe police acting on a court order have released a journalist held in jail for five days under the nation's new security laws.

Peta Thornycroft -- who works for London's Daily Telegraph newspaper and the Voice of America -- was arrested Wednesday on charges of publishing false information and inciting violence.

Zimbabwe's high court ordered her release, saying there was no basis for the charges.

The British-born, Zimbabwean citizen and South African resident was arrested in the eastern Zimbabwean town of Chimanimani as she prepared to report on allegations of government-sponsored violence against opposition activists.

A lawyer for Ms. Thornycroft told V-O-A Sunday, his client said that what she needed after her release was just "a good shower and good sleep."

The Daily Telegraph, Ms. Thornycroft's primary employer, denounced the arrest and said the charges were without foundation. The Voice of America issued a similar statement. Press freedom groups also called for her release.

(afp, reuters, prev)

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