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Some Zimbabwe Opposition Activists Freed, But A Score Are Still Held

Some 20 officials and activists of the Movement for Democratic Change faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai remained in police custody Friday as the Harare high court again declined to take up their urgent application asking for release on bail.

As she did earlier this week, High Court Judge Felistas Chatukuta said the matter should be resolved by the magistrate’s court.

A Harare magistrate yesterday dismissed charges against 13 MDC supporters held for weeks on charges they planned an carried out firebomb attacks against police posts and other targets, including a passenger train. The opposition has denied any such activity, accusing authorities of trumping up the charges to justify a crackdown.

Despite the magistrate's ruling, police kept seven of the 13 men in remand on charges that they gave military training to MDC activists in South Africa. Among those still detained is Paul Madzore, member of parliament for Glen View, Harare.

Lawyer Andrew Makoni, representing the activists, told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that while he was disappointed with the high court ruling he is confident the state lacks sufficient evidence to convict the accused.

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