Harare - Zimbabwe's High Court on Thursday released on bail three opposition activists who have been detained for two-and-a-half years over the death of a police officer, their lawyers said.

They were freed on bail of $1 000 each.

Kumbirai Mafunda, spokesman for Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, says the court has “ended the agonising misery of three political activists who had endured prolonged detention”.

The three members of former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party were detained in May 2011.

They were among more than 20 opposition activists accused of killing an officer as riot police broke up an MDC rally in Harare's working class suburb of Glen View.

The rest of the group had been acquitted in September last year just days after one of them, a woman named Rebecca Mafukeni, died while in custody after a long illness.

The freed trio return to court next month to face trial.

Opposition activists are often targeted by security forces in Zimbabwe. - Sapa-AFP