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Zimbabwe lawyers press for release of opposition activists detained after raids

[JURIST] Zimbabwean lawyers Monday appealed for the release of several hundred opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) [party website] members detained after police raids [JURIST report] on Friday, saying that the the MDC members were being held in defiance of a court order. Witnesses say that police were searching for vote counting materials that might show that MDC candidate Morgan Tsvangirai [BBC profile] won the contested March 29 presidential election [JURIST report].

Official results of the presidential race have still not been released, but Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) [official website] officials said Monday that a partial recount had been completed [Reuters report] and that the ZEC would begin scheduling meetings with the candidates to "verify figures" on Tuesday. The ZEC released the results of the parliamentary elections over the weekend. The Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) [party website], party of current Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], lost its majority in parliament for the first time since the country gained independence from Great Britain in 1980. On Sunday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour condemned political violence [statement] in the country and urged all sides to practice restraint. AFP has more.

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