American Woman Faces Charges In Zimbabwe Over Tweets About Mugabe : The Two-Way : NPR

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Martha O’Donovan, who was arrested over alleged subversive tweets about Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Twitter, arrives at Harare Magistrate’s Court in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Nov. four.

Jekesai Njikizana/AFP/Getty Images


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Jekesai Njikizana/AFP/Getty Images

Martha O’Donovan, who was arrested over alleged subversive tweets about Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Twitter, arrives at Harare Magistrate’s Court in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Nov. four.

Jekesai Njikizana/AFP/Getty Images

Martha O’Donovan, a 25-year-old American, is going through fees in Zimbabwe over allegations that she tweeted that the nation’s longtime, nonagenarian president is “selfish and sick.”

O’Donovan, a New Jersey native who works for a satirical information group, was launched on $1,000 bail Friday after a choose discovered that there was a “patent absence of facts” within the authorities’s case towards her, Reuters experiences.

She was arrested final Friday, and had been held in a maximum-security jail till her launch.

Nearing 93, Robert Mugabe Shows No Sign Of Stepping Down

O’Donovan is due again in court docket on Wednesday, in accordance with The Associated Press. She describes the costs towards her as “baseless and malicious,” the wire service says.

Peter Granitz, reporting for NPR from Pretoria, South Africa, has extra on the case:

“O’Donovan was charged with making an attempt to overthrow the federal government of President Robert Mugabe. Mugabe, who’s 93 years outdated, has dominated Zimbabwe since 1980. She was initially accused of insulting the president, however the brand new fees are far more extreme. …

“During a go to to South Africa final month, Mugabe stated the nation needed to crack down on social media as a result of it was spreading lies about his authorities and threatening the nation’s already collapsed financial system.

“He’s promised to run for re-election.”

The tweet O’Donovan allegedly despatched included a pair of pictures suggesting Mugabe was carrying a catheter throughout a public look. If convicted of subversion, she might withstand 20 years behind bars.

Amnesty International has known as for the “absurd” fees towards O’Donovan to be dropped instantly. “We fear she will not be the last to be swept up in the clampdown on social media platforms. We are calling on the Zimbabwean authorities to stop punishing people simply for exercising their freedom of expression. Social media users must not end up in jail simply for sharing their opinions.”

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