Activist Pastor Evan Mawarire arrested in Zimbabwe for 'inciting violence on social media'

Zimbabwean cleric and activist Evan Mawarire (2nd L) enters in a police car under the supervision of policemen on January 16, 2019, after he was picked up from his home in Avondale, Harare.

Harare, Zimbabwe (CNN)Evan Mawarire, a renowned Zimbabwe pastor and activist, was arrested at his home in Harare on Wednesday, his lawyer told CNN.

Mawarire's arrest comes following three days of protests against hiked fuel prices in Zimbabwe.
"They are alleging he is inciting violence through Twitter and other forms of social media," Beatrice Mtetwa told CNN.
    In April 2016, Pastor Mawarire caused controversy when he draped himself in a Zimbabwean flag and railed against the government in an online video. During that time, he started a movement, #ThisFlag, which hopes to end corruption and bring transparency and accountability to the government.
    Mawarire was also detained in July 2016 for "inciting public violence" but was released a day later after public pressure.
    Security forces in Zimbabwe have been battling protesters in its two main cities since Monday. They are protesting against a government decision to increase fuel prices in the country.

    Internet shutdown

    As a result of the protests, internet services were suspended for two days. Econet, Zimbabwe's biggest telecommunications provider, sent a message to their subscribers Wednesday saying they were ordered to shut down networks. "Internet services are currently suspended across all networks," the message read, "The matter is out of our control."
    Users were unable to access Whatsapp, Facebook and other internet messaging services while the outage lasted.
    Journalists using VPN internet connections were also taken offline.
    Many Zimbabweans were later able to access the internet after connection was restored Wednesday evening.
    CNN has contacted Zimbabwe's government for comment on the apparent shutdown but did not immediately receive a response.
    President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced the increase in a televised address Saturday, bringing the price of diesel to $3.11 per liter and petrol to $3.33, more than doubling its original price of $1.35 per liter.
      Violent protests erupted on Monday and Tuesday in the cities of Harare and Bulawayo following the announcement.
      Zimbabwean police said they had arrested protesters after they barricaded roads and burned tires in Harare. It did not give the number of arrests, but local rights group said the police were holding around 200 people.