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Zimbabwe21 April 2009

Freelance photojournalist released on bail

Reporters Without Borders today welcomed with relief the release on bail of freelance photojournalist Shadreck Anderson Manyere on 18 April but urged the authorities to drop all charges against him.

Manyere is due back in court on 30 April charged with “gangsterism”, “sabotage" and “terrorism”. He has called for an investigation into his abduction on 13 December 2008 and torture he says he suffered in prison.

High court judge, Charles Hungwe, ordered Manyere’s release on 9 April against a surety of 1,000 US dollars but prosecutor Chris Mutangadura initially appealed the decision before changing his mind on 17 April, allowing the journalist to leave Chikurubi high security prison in Harare after more than four months there, but he must report weekly to police in the capital.

“The end of Shadreck Manyere’s detention, one and a half months after the release of Jestina Mukoko and as the government of national unity led by Morgan Tsvangirai examines easing the press law, is a strong and positive sign for Zimbabwe,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

“We have high hopes that the new authorities will finally ensure the respect of freedom of expression and see that journalists are protected from arbitrary arrest”, it added.

For more information on Shadreck Manyere

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