Friday, November 10, 2006

Zim court frees 180 women

A judge in Zimbabwe has dropped charges against 180 women charged with taking part in anti-government protests. Members of two groups, Women of Zimbabwe Arise and Men of Zimbabwe Arise, had been arrested during a peaceful demonstration in August.

Once again members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise have been released by the state without charge following their anti government protest march three months ago.

This is the eighth time since WOZA - as the group is known - was formed in 2003 that state prosecutors have been unable to make the charge stick.

This time the state said they held a demonstration in a public place with the intent to cause public disorder or a breach of the peace.

The women were arrested in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest city, after they demanded that the government stop changing the currency. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe struck three zeros off the currency in August and issued new notes. It also launched a three-week campaign of arresting anyone found with more than about $30.

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