Zimbabwe opposition leader arrested as government cracks down on protest

[JURIST] Zimbabwe police arrested at least 100 people - including opposition presidential hopeful Morgan Tsvangirai [BBC profile] - in advance of a prayer meeting in the nation's capital Sunday. One activist was reportedly shot dead. Armed police had been deployed in Harare since Friday after the meeting was prospectively declared illegal. As citizens approached the sports field where the "Save Zimbabwe Campaign" meeting was to be held, riot police forcefully blocked entrance to the grounds and fired tear gas on the crowds.

Police imposed a three-month ban [JURIST report] on anti-government protests last month after a political rally by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change [party website] led to police and citizen confrontations around the country. Political tensions have run high in Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive] especially since Mugabe announced in December that he planned to extend his presidency from 2008 to 2010 to correspond with parliamentary elections. AP has more.

 

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