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Tortured, kidnapped journalist remanded in custody

(MISA/IFEX) - Freelance photojournalist Anderson Shadreck Manyere, who is being charged with banditry, was, on 9 January 2009, remanded in custody to 23 January after Harare magistrate Olivia Mariga threw out defence applications for a refusal of remand.

His lawyer, Aleck Muchadehama, had argued that Manyere and his co-accused were victims of the crimes of torture and kidnapping and that they should actually be the plaintiffs in the case. It was also argued that the state did not have reasonable suspicion to link the accused to the alleged crimes.

The court threw out both applications. Mariga said the state had established reasonable suspicion that the accused committed the alleged offences. She further ruled that the state should order the police to investigate the allegations of torture and kidnapping. The defence lawyers are now expected to apply to the High Court for bail.

Manyere is being charged, along with six other alleged Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activists, either under Section 23 (1) (a) (i), (ii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, which criminalises acts of insurgence, banditry, sabotage or terrorism, or, alternatively, under Section 143 of the same act, which relates to aggravating circumstances in relation to malicious damage to property.

The state is accusing Manyere of having been involved in bombings of the Manyame River Bridge in Norton on 21 August 2008 the Criminal Investigations Department Headquarters in Harare on 17 November and the Harare Central Police Station on 20 November. Manyere has denied all of the charges.

Updates the Manyere case: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/99620

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