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Journalist released on bail, hospitalised after beatings in police custody

(RSF/IFEX) - Gift Phiri, a contributor to the London-based weekly "The Zimbabwean", was released on bail on 5 April 2007 and immediately hospitalized for treatment to injuries resulting from the beatings he received during four days in police custody.

Judge Gloria Takundwa agreed to free Phiri on bail of 20,000 Zimbabwean dollars (62 euros) and set trial for 25 April. In the meantime, he will have to report to Harare police headquarters every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, reside at the same address and avoid contact with anyone who might be a witness at the trial.

Arrested on 1 April, Phiri is charged with working as a journalist without official accreditation and publishing false news under Sections 79 and 80 of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).

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