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Freelance photojournalist Anderson Shadreck Manyere finally released on bail

(MISA/IFEX) - Freelance photojournalist Anderson Shadreck Manyere was on 17 April 2009 finally released from Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison following a successful bail application submitted before Justice Charles Hungwe of the High court on 9 April.

Manyere had been in detention for close to four months after being abducted on 13 December 2008 before his first court appearance on 24 December. He was detained together with two other Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activists - Gandhi Mudzingwa, a former personal assistant to Morgan Tsvangirai and Chris Dhlamini, the former director of security within the MDC.

During Manyere's bail application, State Prosecutor Chris Mutangadura immediately gave notice of his intention to appeal against the granting of bail but failed to make the application to the Supreme Court within the stipulated seven days, prompting Manyere's release.

As part of his bail conditions, Manyere was ordered to deposit US$1,000 with the court clerk and to report once a week to the Malbereign police station.

Manyere faces charges under section 23 (1), (2) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act which criminalises acts of insurgence, banditry, sabotage or terrorism or alternatively section 143 of the same act which relates to aggravating circumstances in relation to malicious damage to property.

Manyere made an initial bail application to the High Court on 19 February but it was dismissed by Justice Yunus Omerjee. However, the same judge later granted him leave to apply to the Supreme Court, saying the court had misdirected itself when it denied bail to the accused.

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