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Seven People Denied Bail in Connection With Killing Zimbabwe Police Officer

Seven of eight people arrested in Zimbabwe in connection with killing a police officer in May were again denied bail by Harare's High Court on Thursday. Dozens of Movement for Democratic Change, or MDC, supporters and activists have been arrested or gone into hiding since the officer was killed in a bar room brawl.

Harare High Court Judge Samuel Kudya said that seven of those arrested in May remained a flight risk and could not be released on bail.

One of those arrested, Cynthia Manjoro, was released on $500 bail. Two other women are among those whose bail application was refused. Another 24 MDC activists were granted bail earlier this month in connection with the case.

Police officer Petros Mutedza died after violence broke out at a bar in Glen View township after an MDC meeting.

Well know but unpopular

People in the township say Mutedza was well known in the area and was unpopular with vendors who claimed he had regularly confiscated their merchandise. After they were arrested, Manjoro and several others complained to attorneys that they were mistreated in detention.

Lawyers acting for the 32 people accused in connection with Mutedza's killing say they have been supplied with no evidence linking the MDC supporters with the policeman’s murder.

Earlier this week, 13 members of the Zimbabwe independent human rights group Restoration of Human Rights were arrested during a demonstration in Harare. The group members say they had gathered to protest the detention of seven people in connection with the killing of the police officer. The group says authorities are targeting opponents of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and the ZANU PF party.

Zimbabwe human rights activists accuse ZANU PF loyalists of disrupting a public meeting last week to discuss legislation to create a human rights commission.