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Zimbabwe opposition leaders granted bail after 'public violence' charge

On Wednesday, Zimbabwe's national police charged the trio for taking part in an 'illegal demonstration' and inciting 'public violence'.

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa (right) visits one of the youth leaders in hospital on 15 May 2020. Picture: @mdczimbabwe/Twitter

HARARE - Three Zimbabwe opposition youth leaders were granted bail on Thursday after being charged with promoting "public violence" for taking part in a demonstration from which they were allegedly abducted by police, a lawyers rights group said.

Joanna Mamombe, Netsai Marova and Cecilia Chimbiri went missing from a Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party protest in Zimbabwe's capital Harare on 13 May.

They were found dumped on the side of the road two days later, covered in injuries and claiming they had been kidnapped by the police.

On Wednesday, Zimbabwe's national police charged the trio for taking part in an "illegal demonstration" and inciting "public violence".

"The magistrate ordered them to pay Z$1,000 ($40) bail each and report once a fortnight to the police," Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights spokesman Kumbirai Mafunda told reporters outside Harare's Magistrate Court on Thursday.

The three women, who are prominent members of the MDC's youth league, are still recovering from multiple injuries in hospital.

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa said they had been severely beaten and sexually assaulted.

Police have denied any involvement in the alleged abduction.