Tajamuka Sesijikile leader Promise Mkwananzi, freelance journalist James Jemwa and 68 other activists were arraigned before a Harare magistrate today.
Mkwananzi and Bruce Usvisvo were charged in connection with the torching of a police vehicle and another one belonging to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation during protests held last Thursday that were organised by the youth wing of the MDC led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Mkwananzi has been denied bail while hearing for the others was postponed to tomorrow.
Mkwananzi will return to court on September 12.
Defense teams complained that their clients were not treated properly by the police.
They claimed that Mkwananzi's mobile phone was perused without his consent in violation of the constitution.
Jeremiah Bhamu, who represented Jemwa and others, complained that the journalist's phone, press card and video camera were confiscated from him by suspected Zanu PF activists who seized him during the protests while he was on duty, forcibly took him to the ruling party's headquarters where they allegedly severely assaulted him before handing him over to the police.
Jemwa's face was swollen and his hand was completely dysfunctional, Bhamu told the magistrate.
Bhamu said most of the arrests were tantamount to kidnapping. Other activists were allegedly arrested in the same way while some were picked up from their various work stations in what the defense team described as dragnet arrests.
The court also heard that some elderly suspects were ordered by the police to have sex in the full glare of other accused and were severely assaulted when they refused.