Evan Mawarire freed as police failed to bring him to court within 48 hours

The judge said police hadn’t brought Mawarire to the court within 48 hours of his arrest as the law requires.

FILE: Zimbabwean Pastor Evan Mawarire. Picture: ThisFlag Facebook page.

JOHANNESBURG - Protest Pastor Evan Mawarire has been freed by a court in Harare because police failed to bring him to court within 48 hours of his arrest.

The #ThisFlag founder was in court on charges of subversion for criticising the government’s handling of the economic crisis.

Rights lawyers say this is a big victory.

Harare Magistrate Elisha Singano ordered Mawarire’s immediate release from custody.

He said police hadn’t brought the founder of the This Flag movement to the court within 48 hours of his arrest as the law requires.

Mawarire was arrested on Sunday and charged with subversion after he made a video to protest the growing economic crisis.

Rights lawyers say this doesn’t mean that police have entirely dropped the charges against the pastor.

Mawarire still faces trial on a separate charge of subversion in the High Court.