US citizen arrested in Zimbabwe, accused of insulting president Mugabe

The Associated Press

HARARE, Zimbabwe Lawyers and a U.S. Embassy official say Zimbabwe police have arrested a United States citizen for allegedly insulting President Robert Mugabe on Twitter.

Embassy spokesman David McGuire tells The Associated Press that police picked up Martha O’Donovan on Friday.

O’Donovan’s lawyer, Obey Shava, says police have not yet charged her but they claim that “tweets emanating from her IT address are insulting to the president.”

The lawyer says O’Donovan has worked with local social media outlet Magamba TV, whose target audience is youth.

Mugabe last month appointed a minister for cybersecurity, a move criticized by activists as aimed at clamping down on social media users.

The group Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights says it has represented close to 200 people charged for allegedly insulting the president in recent years.

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