Beatings and arrests after Zimbabwe opposition leader denied bail

Zimbabwean police assaulted dozens of opposition supporters and arrested several individuals outside a court in Harare on Thursday, following the denial of bail to members of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party.

The incident occurred after a Harare magistrate denied bail to interim CCC leader Jameson Timba and 78 activists arrested on June 16 for allegedly holding an unauthorized political gathering.

Timba assumed leadership of the CCC after former leader Nelson Chamisa resigned in January, claiming the party had been co-opted by the ruling ZANU-PF.

Outside the court, police anti-riot units maintained a heavy presence. Arrests and beatings intensified hours after President Emmerson Mnangagwa warned that those causing disturbances would “be dealt with.”

A reporter witnessed a woman being arrested for holding a placard demanding the activists’ release. Others were forcibly taken into police trucks, while some supporters fled from baton-wielding officers.

The activists were denied bail due to concerns they might incite public disturbances and interfere with witnesses, according to their lawyer, Agency Gumbo, who announced plans to appeal the decision in the high court.

“We don’t believe there are any compelling reasons to deny the accused persons bail,” Gumbo stated.

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