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Zimbabwe pastor released on bail says hundreds of prisoners need help



Harare, Zimbabwe (AP) – Zimbabwe pastor and activist accused of subversion was released on bail for more than a week on Wednesday and said he needed a doctor, as well as hundreds of people still in jail with wounds of beating by security forces.

Evan Maaarr was released after the night, one of more than 1,000 people arrested in government action against protests over the country's ruined economy. If convicted, he faces 20 years in prison.

Wrapped in the national flag and wore a Bible, he told reporters that the government of President Emmerson Minangawa was acting like former leader Robert Mugabe.

"Once again we have to run and hide. It broke my heart," said Maverare. "I was locked in with over 300 boys whose limbs were interrupted after being beaten by soldiers and policemen. It's a tragedy, it's a shame." There are 16-year-olds who are imprisoned. "

The pastor did not give details about his own health, but called them prison terms "it's obviously not the best". It was not clear whether people in the facility on the outskirts of the capital Harare were receiving any medical care.

Lawyers said people were in jail throughout the country and succumbed to "mass trials" as protests began against the dramatic increase in fuel prices that made Zimbabwe's gasoline the most expensive in the world.

Doctors said that 12 people were killed in the operation, and more than 300 were wounded, and the results with fiery sounds. Human rights activists say women were raped.

Zimbabwean authorities have rejected allegations against security forces, accusing the "false elements" of stolen uniforms and arguing that political opposition is the cause of the unrest.

The hopes for reform under Mnangagwa, who took office at the end of 2017, after his expulsion from Mugabe's mentor, have disappeared for many Zimbabweans. They delivered from the thousands to cheer the army during the departure of Mugabe, but since then the troops have been deployed with deadly results.

The scenes over the past two weeks make even more challenging for Mnangagwa to attract foreign investment and other help that is very needed to rebuild the collapsed economy.

Mawarire, charged with inciting violence on the Internet, has denied he wants to topple the government, but said he would continue "to fight" for authorities to rectify the country.

"Every Zimbabwe has no choice but to continue the fight," he said. "We will fight for our nation. We are forced to fight, there is no choice for us."

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