HARARE, Zimbabwe — A Zimbabwean judge on Friday finished the 17-day detention of an investigative journalist billed for tweeting about alleged corruption.
Hopewell Chin’ono has been charged with obstruction of justice stemming from a tweet he left alleging corrupt practices in Zimbabwe’s National Prosecuting Authority. He faces up to a year in prison or a fine if convicted.
He’s being held at the brutal Chikurubi prison in the capital, Harare, in which he had been previously arrested for six months before being allowed bail on another charge of inciting violence in September.
High Court judge Tawanda Chitapi stated Chin’ono shouldn’t utilize his Twitter accounts” to defeat or obstruct the course of justice” within their bond conditions on the most recent charge.
Chin’ono is just one of Zimbabwe’s most notable critics of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, accusing it of corruption and human rights abuses.
Western embassies, journalists’ associations, and other sympathizers state Chin’ono has been targeted for utilizing Twitter to expose government graft.
The U.S embassy in Harare on Friday said it would”continue to carefully track the Zimbabwean government’s utilization of their legal system to harass and punish” the journalist for reporting corruption.