Zimbabwe protesters disrupt Lord's Test match

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The Independent Online

The first cricket Test between England and Zimbabwe passed without the threatened major disruption yesterday, despite two solo pitch invasions in protest against the government of Robert Mugabe.

Campaigners claimed they had achieved their objective of highlighting human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, although a warning of "chaos and mayhem" failed to materialise at Lord's cricket ground.

The Stop the Tour campaign led by Peter Tatchell fulfilled its promise of disrupting the match when play was halted briefly by two protesters who walked on to the playing area carrying anti-Mugabe messages. The first, Anna Davies, who is in her 40s, was arrested for aggravated trespass after crossing the advertising hoardings 20 minutes after the start of play carrying a poster that said: "Bowl out killer Mugabe."

The probation worker, who was born in Zimbabwe, said she had achieved her aim. "I did it because of Mugabe's murdering regime and the way he is torturing and killing," she said.

A second protester was also arrested after walking on to the pitch. Sections of the ground, which was only one third full despite the authorities giving away 6,000 tickets to children, booed as he was led away.

Mark Anderson, who was also born in Zimbabwe, said he had sought to highlight abuses and the recent appointment of Augustine Chihuri, Zimbabwe's police commissioner, as a life vice-president of Interpol despite documented allegations of abuse at police stations.