Zimbabwe protest pastor to remain in jail, judge decides

The Zimbabwe pastor who launched the popular #ThisFlag protest movement will remain in jail after a judge decided Friday there is enough evidence to suspect he committed a crime.

Evan Mawarire faces a 20-year sentence if convicted of subverting a constitutionally elected government. He stands trial Feb. 17.

He was arrested this week on his return to Zimbabwe after fleeing to the United States last year.

The government's charges are linked to his role in organizing protests against 92-year-old President Robert Mugabe outside the United Nations.

Lawyer Harrison Nkomo argued that calling for the resignation of a sitting president is within Mawarire's constitutional rights.

Nkomo says he will apply for bail at the High Court on Monday.

Frustration has been high in this southern African country over a collapsing economy.