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Trial Set For Zimbabwean Journalist Accused Of Media Law Violations

A Harare court has set a trial date of May 9 in the case of Gift Phiri, the chief reporter for the London based weekly newspaper The Zimbabwean who stands accused of practicing without a license under the country's draconian media law.

Phiri could face up to two years in prison for breaching the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, better known to many Zimbabweans as AIPPA.

Phiri has accused police of torturing him in custody and said he is now facing official harassment following his lawyers' notification of police of his intent to sue. He is being treated for a broken arm and soft tissue damage sustained in the alleged beatings.

Phiri told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he had been licensed by the Media and Information Commission to report for a newspaper in Harare and had applied for renewal of his license to report for The Zimbabwean.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...