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Human rights defender Linda Masarira’s sentencing postponed to tomorrow

The sentencing of human rights defender Linda Masarira was postponed to tomorrow morning.  The activist was last week convicted of “obstructing of pedestrians and vehicles” in relation to 6 July 2016 peaceful demonstration.  Masarira was facing the possibility of a $500 and a 6-month jail sentence.

Defence counsel pleaded for leniency saying that his client was a widow with 5 children. However, the state argued that paying a fine would trivialise the offence committed by Masarira. The state wanted Masarira to pay a fine on top of doing community service. Masarira’s lawyer countered saying that his client had already spent 89 days in prison which was a punishment on its own. He argued against community service saying that it would eat into the time that Masarira needed to raise money for the fine. He also argued that Masarira needed to spend sometime in a hospital and she had the requisite paperwork with her.

The Magistrate postponed the matter to tomorrow morning  in order go through the submissions made by the lawyers.

 

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