"Political temperatures are rising in Zimbabwe before a crucial summit of the Southern African Development Community to be held next week in Kinshasa. The group guaranteed the political agreement signed a year ago by President Robert Mugabe and MDC leader and now Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
In the run-up to the SADC summit, Zimbabwe's Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa ordered the release of about 1,500 jailed women and juvenile prisoners, 10 percent of the prison population held in appalling conditions, according to local and international human rights organizations. Also released were those who are terminally ill.
Those convicted of violent crimes were not released.
Chinamasa has blamed U.S. and EU travel and financial sanctions against Zanu-PF and a few companies that are close to the party for prison conditions.
Zanu-PF has criticized Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for failing to get the restrictions lifted against the inclusive government."