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Amnesty International hopes Mawarire freedom a new start for Zimbabwe

Amnesty International says Evan Mawarire was a victim of Robert Mugabe’s ruthless campaign to criminalise dissent.

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

HARARE - Amnesty International says it hopes a ruling by the Harare High Court to drop subversion charges against Evan Mawarire signals a new beginning for the country.

Mawarire was arrested and slapped with the criminal charges 10 months ago for organising peaceful protests against former president Robert Mugabe’s government.

Amnesty International says Mawarire was a victim of Mugabe’s ruthless campaign to criminalise dissent.

The group’s southern Africa director, Deprose Muchena called on the new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to ensure people can air their opinions without facing criminal charges.

Muchena said he hoped the dropping of subversion charges against Mawarire on Wednesday signalled a new beginning for the country.

That’s a hope shared by Mawarire himself.

In a Facebook video to supporters that’s been viewed over 29,000 times, he called on Mnangagwa to be different from Mugabe, and said he hoped that intimidation and oppression will stop.