US

Zimbabwe pastor behind protests faces 20 years in prison

FILE - In this Tuesday May. 3, 2016 file photo, Evans Mawarire a young pastor in the Harare poses for a photo with the Zimbabwean flag wrapped around his body. A lawyer says a Zimbabwe pastor who fled to the United States after launching a popular protest movement has been arrested on his return home.  Lawyer Harrison Nkomo says Evan Mawarire was picked up at Harare International Airport on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017.  (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, File)

FILE - In this Tuesday May. 3, 2016 file photo, Evans Mawarire a young pastor in the Harare poses for a photo with the Zimbabwean flag wrapped around his body. A lawyer says a Zimbabwe pastor who fled to the United States after launching a popular protest movement has been arrested on his return home. Lawyer Harrison Nkomo says Evan Mawarire was picked up at Harare International Airport on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Zimbabwe pastor who fled to the United States after launching the popular #ThisFlag protest movement faces up to 20 years in prison for organizing protests against President Robert Mugabe in New York.

Evan Mawarire was arrested at Harare International Airport on his return home Wednesday. He is yet to appear in court.

Mawarire has been charged with subverting a constitutionally elected government, which carries up to 20 years in prison.

Lawyer Harrison Nkomo says the charges arise partly from his role in organizing anti-Mugabe protests during the U.N. General Assembly in September last year.

Mawarire is accused of organizing Zimbabweans "to converge in New York to confront the president of Zimbabwe," according to a police statement seen by The Associated Press and confirmed by his lawyers Thursday.