June 27, 2017 / 2:39 PM / 24 days ago

Zimbabwean activist pastor charged over illegal protest

1 Min Read

Handcuffed Pastor Evan Mawarire arrives at court after he was arrested for addressing students demonstrating over fees in Harare, Zimbabwe June 28,2017.Philimon Bulawayo

HARARE (Reuters) - A Zimbabwean pastor at the heart of a protest movement against President Robert Mugabe last year is set to appear in court on Wednesday after he was arrested for addressing students demonstrating over fees, his lawyer said.

Evan Mawarire - whose #ThisFlag movement last year led to the biggest anti-government rallies in a decade - was arrested on Monday when he spoke at a protest by University of Zimbabwe medical students.

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Mawarire denies the charges of "participating in an illegal gathering" or "causing disorderly conduct", his lawyer Harrison Nkomo said.

Both charges carry a maximum 10-year prison sentence or a fine if convicted.

Mawarire was arrested in February at the airport when he flew home from the United States.

Last July, Mawarire was arrested and charged with inciting violence and insulting the national flag but was freed by a magistrate's court that said police had not followed procedure.

His trial on these charges is set to start in September.

Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Joe Brock

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