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Zimbabwe rights activist Mukoko released on bail

[JURIST] Zimbabwean human rights activist Jestina Mukoko [advocacy website, JURIST news archive] was released on bail Monday after three months of detention on the authorization of President Robert Mugabe [JURIST news archive]. Mukoko, director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) [official website], had been held without chargers since December and was allegedly subjected to torture during her incarceration. Mukoko has been hospitalized [Zimbabwe Times report] for the treatment of injuries sustained over the past three months and remains under medical care after her release from police custody. Mukoko’s release may come as a response [ZimOnline report] to a call by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai [JURIST news archive], who was installed last month after signing a power-sharing agreement [JURIST reports] with Mugabe.

Mukoko, an outspoken critic of Mugabe, was apprehended from her home in December and held in an undisclosed location for months because of her alleged involvement in Mugabe's opposition. While in prison, it was reported that Mukoko was forced to ingest poison [JURIST report], an allegation that has sparked a world wide protest against Zimbabwean police methods. Mukoko was previously denied bail [JURIST report] by Zimbabwean lower courts. Last month, a court ruled that Mukoko could appeal her detention [JURIST report] to the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe under the Zimbabwe Constitution [text, PDF].

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