Zimbabwean human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa has been freed on bail after more than a week in prison and a decade spent campaigning for the rule of law.

She was accused of shouting at police officers and demanding to see a search warrant when police raided the offices of the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

She was charged with obstructing justice and, along with four MDC members, was put behind bars. A magistrate later refused her application for bail and said she was to be held in prison until Easter.

However, a judge yesterday overturned the magistrate’s decision saying, according to the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency, that: ‘The appellant should not have been denied bail. She is a practitioner of many years of experience.’

AFP added that upon her release, Mtetwa said: ‘It is a personal attack on all human rights lawyers, but I was just made the first example. There will be many more arrests to follow as we near elections.’

A presidential election in Zimbabwe is expected later this year.

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