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International News

Zimbabwe: AIDS Workers From Oakland Free on Bail

September 14, 2010

Four East Bay residents on a mission to help AIDS patients and orphans in Zimbabwe were released from a jail there on Monday, three days after being arrested on suspicion of distributing drugs without a proper license. The two nurses, a doctor, and a community volunteer were arrested along with two aid workers from Zimbabwe and New Zealand, said ministry officials at Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, Calif.

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The mission members were released on $200 bail and have been ordered to surrender their passports ahead of a Sept. 27 court appearance. In the meantime, they are staying near the Mother of Peace orphanage, where the ministry assists with medical clinic operations.

"Things seem good," said an e-mail from Gloria Cox-Cromwell, one of the Americans arrested. "We are all eager to get home." Also released on bail were Americans Gregory Miller, David Greenburg, and Dr. Anthony Jones; Dr. Reid Andrew John Cheyne of New Zealand; and Dr. Tembinkosi Ncomanzi of Zimbabwe.

"They're doing great since they have been released," said Arnold Perkins, a ministry member and former Alameda County public health officer who has travelled often to the clinic. "We're all so happy they're out, because we were so worried for them. Now we can breathe easy until the next steps occur."

Church officials declined to comment on the case, citing the advice of their attorney. "The local authorities are handling it, and we want to keep it on a local level if we can," said the Rev. Theophous Reagans, the church's minister of global missions.

Since 2000, congregants have been visiting the orphanage and clinic at least four times a year. This is the first time members have run into any legal troubles, church officials said.

Back to other news for September 2010

Adapted from:
San Francisco Chronicle
09.14.2010; Erin Allday; Associated Press


  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
See Also
U.S. Church Wants to Resume Zimbabwe AIDS Work
More News on HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe
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