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Zimbabwe Police Free Photographers; Activists Still in Jail - 2004-10-06


Police in Zimbabwe have released three news photographers who were detained Tuesday while covering a demonstration in front of parliament.

But a lawyer says dozens of activists from the organization "Women of Zimbabwe Arise," which organized the protest, remain in jail.

Police detained the women as they tried to deliver a petition opposing a proposed law on the regulation of non-governmental and human rights organizations in Zimbabwe.

News reports say police will likely charge the women with organizing an illegal protest.

The proposed legislation would compel non-governmental organizations to register with the government and would outlaw foreign funding of human rights groups.

Critics say the bill targets organizations that speak out against rights abuses by Zimbabwe's government .

But officials say the new law is necessary because, they say, many foreign-funded NGOs engage in political work to promote opposition groups.

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