Demonstration greets England cricketers

Published: Wednesday, December 1, 2004, 20:51 [IST]
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Harare:The first demonstration of the England cricket tour to Zimbabwe was held outside the players' hotel before they left for Harare Sports Club and the second of four one-day games.

Three African men held up posters, not specifically against the tour, but demanding the release of imprisoned opposition member of parliament Roy Bennett.

Their posters read: "No Justice," "No Cricket," :Free Roy Bennett."

Bennett had pushed over a government minister in the House of Assembly in March and early in November he was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment following a vote along party lines.

He is being held at Mutoko, a small town 90 kms north of Harare, in what are said to be appalling conditions.

The demonstrators were chased away by hotel security staff and police reservists. It is not known if there were any later arrests.

No comment was available from the England camp.

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