U.S. citizen arrested in Zimbabwe for allegedly insulting Mugabe

American television producer charged with trying to overthrow Zimbabwe's President Mugabe with tweet

The Zimbabwe Police has arrested a USA citizen residing in the country over allegations that she insulted President Robert Mugabe, her Attorneys said.

An NYU grad working for a Zimbabwean TV station faces 20 years in the slammer for allegedly insulting the country's controversial leader on Twitter.

Zimbabwe police on Friday picked up USA citizen Martha O'Donovan and seized her laptop during a dawn raid on her home in Harare.

The court today dismissed a request by O'Donovan's lawyers to strike down the subversion charge, arguing that police didn't inform her of it when she was arrested Saturday morning.

The AP also reports that the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights say they have represented almost 200 charged for allegedly insulting the Zimbabwe president in recent years.

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The tweet also included a photo that suggested the president, 93, was relying on a catheter.

She's alleged to have insulted President Mugabe in a recent tweet on her personal timeline.

O'Donovan works for Harare-based Magamba TV, which describes itself as a leading producer of cutting edge political satire and comedy.

Mugabe's stepson with his wife and first-lady Grace, is thought to have recently imported two British-built Rolls-Royce vehicles, according to local media reports. The court disagreed, and O'Donovan will remain in custody over the weekend.

Mugabe, 93, has been increasingly uneasy about social media activists after a pastor started the #ThisFlag movement past year to organize stay-at-home demonstrations against the government.

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Rights lawyers in Zimbabwe say this is the first arrest for a social media-related offence after President Mugabe created a Cyber Security Ministry in October.

Social media posts played a major role in fueling major anti-government protests in Zimbabwe past year.

Zimbabwe authorities say they believe O'Donovan is the author of the tweet on October 11 based on her IP address.

The group representing Ms O'Donovan, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, says it has represented almost 200 people charged for allegedly insulting Mr Mugabe, the world's oldest head of state, in recent years.

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