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An American was just jailed in Zimbabwe for mean tweets about Mugabe

Old 11-05-17, 01:46 AM
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An American was just jailed in Zimbabwe for mean tweets about Mugabe

Given that the Twitter account in question is still active even though this woman in is prison, it's pretty obvious that it wasn't her who made the tweets.

But in my opinion, it doesn't matter if she made the tweets or not.

In my opinion, the only thing that matters is that she was dumb enough to move to a communist country.

I've said before that I'd never heard of a U.S.-born person who chose to move to a communist country. I can no longer say that. Mugabe's seizures of privately owned farmland is the very definition of communism. So this U.S.-born person chose to move to a communist country. And now she's in prison for a victimless crime that she didn't even commit.

In my opinion, it is not the job of the U.S. government to try to free her. She made this choice on her own. It's her decision. She chose to go to a country that is very well known as a dictatorship that does not respect human rights. It was her choice. I don't know why she made that choice. But it was her decision. And now she must deal with the results of her decision.

An American was just jailed in Zimbabwe for mean tweets about Mugabe

November 4, 2017

In 2016, Martha O'Donovan, a 25-year-old New York University graduate, moved to Zimbabwe.

She got a job with Magamba TV, located in Harare. It's a satirical comedy station, and O'Donovan was a manager and “media activist.”

Now, she's in jail.

At issue: a tweet attacking Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. In it, the president is called a "sick and selfish man."

The tweets come from the account of @matigary, who joined Twitter in February 2016. Zimbabwe authorities say they believe O'Donovan is the author of the tweet based on her IP address. But O'Donovan has denied this, and @matigary has continued to tweet since O'Donovan was jailed.

She has been charged with subversion and attempting to overthrow the Mugabe government. That charge carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

In a statement to the police, O'Donovan, who grew up in New Jersey, called the allegations “baseless and malicious.” Her lawyer, Rose Hanzi, has argued that the charge is illegal because the police did not inform O'Donovan of it when she was taken from her home Friday morning. Her bail hearing is set for Nov. 15.

The State Department says it is aware of O'Donovan's situation, but officials declined to comment further.

O'Donovan's arrest comes a month after Mugabe appointed a cybersecurity minister. When he was appointed, activists on social media worried that he would target them.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights say at least 200 people have been charged for allegedly insulting Mugabe in recent years.

“This arrest marks the start of a sinister new chapter in the Zimbabwean government’s clampdown on freedom of speech, and the new battleground is social media,” Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s deputy regional director, told the Associated Press.

Tongia Makawa, the station's co-founder and project manager, told BuzzFeed News that he and his colleagues are still in shock. “In all honesty, I think the only thing that's separates her from the rest of the team is the fact that she's a foreign national,” he said.

Last edited by grundle; 11-05-17 at 01:51 AM.
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Old 11-10-17, 01:50 PM
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Re: An American was just jailed in Zimbabwe for mean tweets about Mugabe

She's out on bail.

I hope she flees the country.

American Woman Faces Charges In Zimbabwe Over Tweets About Mugabe

November 10, 2017

Martha O'Donovan, a 25-year-old American, is facing charges in Zimbabwe over allegations that she tweeted that the country's longtime, nonagenarian president is "selfish and sick."

O'Donovan, a New Jersey native who works for a satirical news organization, was released on $1,000 bail Friday after a judge found that there was a "patent absence of facts" in the government's case against her, Reuters reports.

She was arrested last Friday, and had been held in a maximum-security prison until her release.

O'Donovan is due back in court on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. She describes the charges against her as "baseless and malicious," the wire service says.

Peter Granitz, reporting for NPR from Pretoria, South Africa, has more on the case:

"O'Donovan was charged with attempting to overthrow the government of President Robert Mugabe. Mugabe, who is 93 years old, has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980. She was originally accused of insulting the president, but the new charges are much more severe. ...

"During a visit to South Africa last month, Mugabe said the country wanted to crack down on social media because it was spreading lies about his government and threatening the country's already collapsed economy.

"He's promised to run for re-election."
The tweet O'Donovan allegedly sent included a pair of images suggesting Mugabe was wearing a catheter during a public appearance. If convicted of subversion, she could face up to 20 years behind bars.

Amnesty International has called for the "absurd" charges against O'Donovan to be dropped immediately. "We fear she will not be the last to be swept up in the clampdown on social media platforms. We are calling on the Zimbabwean authorities to stop punishing people simply for exercising their freedom of expression. Social media users must not end up in jail simply for sharing their opinions."
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