Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Jestina Mukoko out on Bail!

Just got the following message from my Jestina Facebook group:

"GOOD NEWS: Human rights activist Jestina Mukoko was released on bail this monday after three months in jail. Several other activists from the MDC party has been released too- an encouraging sign that newly appointed prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai's calls for political prisoners to be freed were finally being heeded.

Tsvangirai, who last month joined a power-sharing government with President Robert Mugabe, last week said it would be difficult for the new administration to move forward while a list of outstanding issues, among them continued detention of Mukoko and others, remained unresolved.

Jestina Mukoko is still facing charges of terrorism, though. And she was not released unconditionally. Mukoko was asked to pay $600 in bail, surrender her passport and the deeds to her house or deposit US$20 000 with the court as surety. She was asked to report to police twice a week.

The MDC activists released earlier were also slapped with similarly tough bail conditions and some of those granted bail remained in custody either because they had not satisfied all conditions or because the state was still to establish whether they held passports or not.

Nevertheless, Jestina is happy: "It's so good to be free. I need to call my son and tell him that I am a free woman," said Mukoko, as prison guards unshackled her hands from the railings of a bed at a Harare hospital where has been admitted for the past two weeks."

BBC report here.
latest from This is Zimbabwe here.
Amnesty International

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