Shantha Bloemen’s husband, Munyaradzi Gwisai, was an academic and former member of Parliament in Zimbabwe.
Gwisai and 44 others were arrested on Saturday while meeting to watch footage of anti-government protests in North Africa. The group was charged with treason, a charge which carries a maximum sentence of the death penalty.
Prosecutors in Zimbabwe said this was an attempt to orchestrate an Egyptian-style removal of President Robert Mugabe.
“This is ludicrous charges…,” said Bloemen.
“It was a bunch of people gathering to watch some videos. For this to be a crime and a crime of this magnitude is just incomprehensible.”
She said some of the group members were beaten and denied medical care while in police custody. Some members were also denied antiretroviral drugs for those who are HIV positive.
The group will remain in maximum security prison.