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Zimbabwean activists thrown back into jail

Zimbabwean human rights campaigner Jestina Mukoko and 17 others have been ordered back to jail by a magistrate, despite considerable evidence that many of them were tortured while in jail earlier.

Lawyers argued that the charges against them, including recruiting Zimbabweans for training in Botswana to topple President Robert Mugabe's government, are spurious and concocted by state agents as a result of torture.

Mukoko, well-known in Zimbabwe as a former anchor of the state news, has also worked as a journalist for the independent Voice of the People. More recently, Mukoko has been working for a human rights group.

Others arrested with her include journalist Anderson Manyere and Gandhi Mudzingwa, aide to Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. 

The MDC condemned the court action, saying it "seriously threatens not only the life and health of the inclusive government, [but] its longevity and durability."