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Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin'ono speaks to the media on Sept. 3, 2020.

Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/The Associated Press

A court in Zimbabwe denied bail on Thursday for journalist and government critic Hopewell Chin’ono after his arrest last week on charges of obstruction of justice.

The arrest of Mr. Chin’ono and dozens of activists in the last four months has led to accusations that the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa is persecuting the opposition, a charge the authorities deny.

Mr. Chin’ono, who uses social media posts to criticize the government, was first arrested in July on charges of inciting violent anti-government protests.

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After his latest arrest, he was charged with contempt of court but prosecutors dropped those charges. He is now accused of attempting to “defeat the course of justice” after he posted comments on Twitter about the National Prosecuting Authority.

Mr. Chin’ono has denied the latest charges, saying he is being persecuted for exposing corruption in government.

Magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa ruled that Mr. Chin’ono should stay in prison custody while awaiting trial because “the accused person has a propensity to commit offences.”

Doug Coltart, one of Mr. Chin’ono’s lawyers, said an appeal against the ruling would be made at the High Court.

Mr. Chin’ono was first detained for more than a month at a maximum-security prison until his release on bail on Sept. 2. The embassies of the United States and Britain have criticized the arrest of Chin’ono.

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