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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Zimbabwe artist faces jail for paintings

A Zimbabwe artist's attorney says the artist will go to trial next month for depicting scenes in his paintings of civilians being massacred by government troops, images that have now been banned under the country's censorship laws.

Earlier this year, police shut down Owen Maseko's exhibit depicting an armed uprising after Zimbabwe's independence in 1980 when civilians were crushed by troops loyal to President Robert Mugabe.
Attorney Lizwe Jamela said Tuesday that Maseko has now been charged with displaying "false statements" prejudicial to the state and faces a fine or imprisonment. Jamela says the artist is not charged under censorship laws. He is expected to go to court mid-September.

The state censors' board declared the exhibit banned for obscenity and ethnic bias.

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