Rhodesia's new multi-racial transitional government has begun releasing black political prisoners. The first group was?
CU EXTERIOR: of released detainee speaking in English to reporter.
GV: guards standing outside.
CUs: detainees (3 shots)
GV: detainees waiting at fence and being allowed through by guards (3 shots)
GV: detainees getting on truck and waving to camera (2 shots)
GV: truck pulling out.
GV AND TV: detainees leaving camp. (4 shots)
GV PULL BACK TO LV detainee camp with departing detainees waving to those inside.
RELEASED DETAINEE: "Well, actually you have to, to date. But you cannot thoroughly do what they are saying to us."
REPORTER: "What do you mean by that?"
DETAINEE: "Well, I mean that to say we should obey everything. Another way round, some other things we have to compromise in, but some we don't."
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Background: Rhodesia's new multi-racial transitional government has begun releasing black political prisoners. The first group was freed amid jubilant scenes at Wha Wha Prison near Gwelo on Thursday (13 April). Visnews' reporter Gary Burns asked one of the released detainees about the authorities' condition not to engage in further unlawful activities:
SYNOPSIS: Some 461 black political offenders are to be released initially. They represent about half those imprisoned without trial by Rhodesia's white minority regime. The releases were ordered by the Supreme Executive Council, made up of Nationalist leaders Bishop Abel Muzorewa, the Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole, Chief Jeremiah Chirau and White premier Ian Smith. The Council is the top tier of the transitional government which will lead the country to black majority rule at the end of the year.
The first group to be freed were 100 detainees belonging to three main nationalist parties. About 60 local and foreign pressmen were flown to Wha Wha prison by the government to witness the event. The release has been phased to allow the several hundred necessary orders to be duly signed and processed.
In addition to the prisoners being freed, a further 250 people already released but subject to restrictions will now have those restrictions eased. The freed men left their compounds singing freedom songs but there was a touch of sadness among a group of black women who waited to greet husbands and sons who have not yet been freed. Political observers see the detainees' release as a move by the interim government to establish its effectiveness and to show Britain and the United States that the internal agreement is working. Anglo-American envoys are still trying to persuade Mr Smith and Black leaders to attend an all-party Rhodesia peace conference with the Patriotic Front guerrilla alliance represented.