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BBC man arrested in Zimbabwe on music charity trip

A BBC classical music presenter arrested by the Zimbabwean authorities for allegedly "working without a permit" was in the country doing charity work raising funds for under- privileged children, friends said.

Petroc Trelawny, a Radio 3 presenter, was charged yesterday after his arrest on Thursday.

Last night, on his 41st birthday, Mr Trelawny was in a hospital ward under police guard receiving treatment for a dislocated shoulder. He is understood to have slipped on water and fallen while in a police cell.

His lawyer said that they hoped he would be released, and possibly deported, today.

Friends in Britain spoke of their frustration that he had been arrested while trying to help young musicians.

Mr Trelawny was not working for the BBC while in Zimbabwe. He travelled to the country on behalf of The British Friends of the Zimbabwe Academy of Music, a charitable organisation he founded.

Mr Trelawny was at a festival run by the Bulawayo Music Academy when he was approached by immigration officials. Julian Berkeley, a friend of Mr Trelawny, said that he had travelled to Zimbabwe about a week ago. "Everything he was doing over there was to assist the charitable foundation," he said. "I understand he was apprehended because they wanted to see whether he had the necessary papers but as he was not working he would not have considered it necessary to have a work permit.

"It is very unfortunate that someone who was trying to do something to help the country should suffer misfortune of this kind because the only reason he was there was to provide charitable assistance." © Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent