Prominent journalist denied bail as UN warns against 'pattern of intimidation' in Zimbabwe

Award-winning journalist Hopewell Chin'ono was most recently working on allegations of corruption relating to the procurement of Covid-19 supplies.

Harare, Zimbabwe (CNN)A Zimbabwe court has denied bail for prominent journalist Hopewell Chin'ono who is facing charges of inciting citizens to "participate in public violence."

"He has been denied bail on the basis that he is a danger to the public and that, if he is released, he will continue advocating for violent protests," Chin'ono's representative, Beatrice Mtetwa, said. 
"Justice delivery has been severely compromised. We will naturally be appealing to the High Court," she added. 
    Chin'ono was arrested Monday alongside opposition leader Jacob Ngarivhume, accused of encouraging citizens on social media to "participate in public violence" during a protest scheduled to take place next Friday. 
    Both Chin'ono and Ngarivhume -- who was also denied bail on Thursday -- have denied the allegations. 
    The award-winning journalist was most recently working on allegations of corruption relating to the procurement of Covid-19 supplies by the health ministry, according to Amnesty International which accused the Zimbabwe government of using state's security forces to silence critics.
    In a statement, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called for an end to the "pattern of intimidation" seen in Zimbabwe, warning that authorities may be using the coronavirus pandemic as a pretext to "clamp down" on freedom of expression.