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Immigration ordered to release journo’s passport


A Bulawayo High Court judge yesterday ordered the Department of Immigration to release BBC presenter Petroc Trelawney’s passport.

Trelawney was arrested during a music festival at the City Hall last Thursday, but the Attorney General on Tuesday refused to prosecute him on charges of working without a permit.

But Immigration authorities refused to release his passport and he remained detained at a city hospital where he is receiving treatment for injuries he sustained during the arrest.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights lawyers Nosimilo Chanayiwa and Munyaradzi Nzarayapenga filed an urgent High Court application seeking the release of Trelawney’s passport on Tuesday.

The order was granted by Justice Nicholas Ndou early yesterday morning but it had not been released by late evening.

“The order was granted today in the morning, and it is yet to be released to him,” Chanayiwa said.

Meanwhile, Education, Sport and Culture minister David Coltart, who is on a fund-raising trip for the education sector in the United States, bemoaned Trelawney’s arrest saying it complicated campaigns for the removal of Western sanctions on the country.

“Law must be implemented justly. I question why it is necessary to detain someone over a weekend for an offence which, if proved, will never obtain a custodial sentence,” he said.

“I have argued this week that there are hardliners who do not want sanctions lifted because it serves their purposes — it is useful cover.”

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