American Who ‘Insulted’ Mugabe On Twitter Granted Bail, But She Can’t Still Leave The Country

American Who 'Insulted' Mugabe On Twitter Granted Bail, But She Can't Still Leave The Country

Martha O‘Donovan has been in prison since Saturday, a day after she was arrested on accusations of insulting Mugabe in a Twitter post. Police later leveled the more serious charge of subversion, which carries a possible 20-year jail term.

She denies both charges. O‘Donovan works for Magamba TV, which describes itself as Zimbabwe’s leading producer of political satire.
In granting her bail, High Court Judge Clement Phiri said there was a “patent absence of facts” in the state’s case.

“The applicant has demonstrated that she should be granted bail. It is my finding that it is in the interests of justice that the applicant be given bail,” Phiri said.

O‘Donovan was not in court. Phiri ordered her to deposit $1,000 with the court, surrender her passport and report to the criminal investigations department twice a week as part of her bail conditions.

Her lawyer Obey Shava said O‘Donovan would be released today after completing administrative procedures. Amnesty International said in a statement the case showed that Zimbabwean authorities had contempt for freedom of expression.

The state’s case centers on a Twitter post it says she wrote in October calling Mugabe a “selfish and sick man”.


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