On this day in history :Catholic bishop who challenged the legitimacy of white minority rule in southern Africa had his prison sentence reduced

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  • 24 February – Catholic Bishop of Umtali Donal Lamont had a 10-year prison sentence reduced to 4 by the Appeal Court in Salisbury. 3 of the 4 years were suspended. He was convicted in 1976 of failing to report the presence of terrorists.
  • Bishop Donal Lamont (1911–2003) was an IrishRhodesian Catholic bishop and a Roman Catholic missionary to Africa who was best known for his fight against white minority rule in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
  • He was tried in 1976, accused of permitting nuns within his diocese to give medical aid to black guerrillas and advising the nuns not to report this to the authorities, for their own safety.He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to ten years imprisonment with hard labour, which was reduced to four years on appeal. He was detained in Salisbury Hospital, where he received treatment for injuries caused in a car accident, while the Rhodesian government made arrangements to have him deported. His Rhodesian citizenship was revoked and he was deported to Ireland in 1977. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978.