Harare — Zimbabwean activist pastor Evan Mawarire was charged in court on Thursday with subverting the government, punishable by up to 20 years in jail, after violent protests this week that were met by a brutal crackdown from security forces. Mawarire was arrested on Wednesday and initially charged by police with the lesser crime of inciting public violence after social media posts encouraging Zimbabweans to heed a strike call by the biggest labour union. The charge sheet accused him of coercing workers to stay away from work and encouraging civil disobedience. Mawarire’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa denied that he had incited violence. The court ordered Mawarire to remain in detention and adjourned the pretrial hearing until Friday. Authorities have said three people died during the protests, which mostly took place in Zimbabwe’s two biggest cities, Harare and Bulawayo. Rights groups say the toll was much higher. Strike and roadblocks President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government decreed a ...

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