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Zimbabwe Police Ignore Order to Release Seized Activists

Police in Zimbabwe have defied a court order to hospitalize a human rights activist accused of anti-government activities.

On Wednesday, Zimbabwe's High Court ordered that Jestina Mukoko and eight co-defendants be transferred to a Harare hospital, under police guard, until their next court date on Monday.

But lawyers say police instead took the activists to an undisclosed location.

Mukoko and more than 20 other people were arrested in recent weeks for allegedly recruiting people to overthrow the government. Lawyers say Mukoko and fellow activists may have been tortured in custody.

Mukoko heads the Zimbabwe Peace Project and was taken from her home by armed men on December 3. Prosecutors say she recruited people to go to Botswana for military training. Botswana has denied the allegations.

Her arrest comes as opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai threatens to abandon power-sharing talks with the ruling ZANU-PF party if his party members continue to be abducted. He said more than 42 people, including members of his party, have been kidnapped in the past two months.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.