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Zimbabwean photographer Anderson Shadreck Manyere was in his Harare hospital bed, recovering from torture, when he received the good news that he had won the prestigious Percy Qoboza Foreign Journalists Award given by the U.S.-based National Association of Black Journalists.
"It's the best news I've heard all year," said Manyere's lawyer, Alec Muchadehama, to the Committee to Protect Journalists. He said that Manyere is recovering from four months in detention in Zimbabwe, during which time he was tortured and held in solitary confinement and limited to a half a gallon of water per week. Manyere was physically assaulted, waterboarded, blindfolded and interrogated for hours on end, according to his lawyer.
Manyere was arrested in December along with former news anchor Jestina Mukoko and 28 other civic activists. He face charges of banditry, sabotage, insurgency and terrorism (a capital offense in Zimbabwe). He denies all charges.
The charges against Manyere are believed to be linked to suspicions that he took photographs of other Zimbabwean torture victims.
Despite the NABJ award, Zimbabwean authorities are trying to revoke Manyere's bail and send him back to jail, according to the Media Institute for Southern Africa.