Zimbabwean police arrested on Friday a US citizen over an insult of country’s President Robert Mugabe in a tweet posted last month, according to media reports.
According to her own statement, Martha O‘Donovan, 25, working for the Magamba TV broadcaster was arrested for “undermining authority of or insulting president,” the Africa News media outlet reported. Police also seized O‘Donovan’s laptop. If the journalist is found guilty, she may face up to a year in jail.
In the tweet posted on October 11, she called Mugabe a “selfish and sick man” and issued a photo of the 93-year-old president with a catheter.
O‘Donovan’s case is the first trial carried out since the creation of the Ministry of Cyber Security last month.
The Committee to Project Journalists Africa reported later that Martha O’Donovan, has been charged with attempting to overthrow the government and insulting the President.
“Marth[a] O`Donovan…charged with “overthrowing or attempting to overthrow the Government by unconstitutional means,” CPJ Africa stated in a Twitter message. “She remains in custody, charged under Section 33 of Zimbabwe’s penal code for undermining authority/insulting president.”
The media watchdog noted that O’Donovan was a project officer with Magamba TV.