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Magistrate orders investigation into alleged torture of photojournalist Anderson Shadreck Manyere

(MISA/IFEX) - On 26 January 2009, the matter of freelance photojournalist Anderson Shadreck Manyere, who is held on allegations of banditry, was heard before Harare Magistrate Gloria Takundwa. The judge ordered police to investigate and present a report on allegations that Manyere was tortured while in unlawful detention. Manyere was kidnapped and held incommunicado for more than three weeks.

Earlier in the day, the matter had been postponed to 27 January, after prison officials failed to bring Manyere and his co-accused to court citing fuel/transport shortages.

In insisting on the presentation of a police report on the alleged torture at the next remand date on 9 February, Magistrate Takundwa dismissed an affidavit filed by State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa seeking to block the investigation. She said that Mutasa was obliged to wait for an investigation into the allegations before filing the affidavit.

Magistrate Takundwa also advised the State to come up with a trial date on 9 February.

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