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Zimbabwean authorities arrest actors, journalist
Voice of America (VOA)
October 02, 2007

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A media advocacy group says Zimbabwean police arrested two actors and a journalist during the performance of a play that satirized the country's political situation.

Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said Tuesday that authorities stormed the wings of Harare's Theater In the Park on Friday and led the actors, Sylvanos Mudzvova and Anthony Tongani, away to a truck.

The group says independent journalist James Jemwa was also arrested when he asked police to explain why the actors were being detained.

It says the three men are being held at Harare police headquarters, without charges, and have not been allowed to contact a lawyer.

Reporters Without Borders and other rights groups have repeatedly denounced Zimbabwe's government for repression of the opposition and the media.

The country has strict media and security laws that give authorities the power to shut down the expression of anti-government viewpoints.

The play that was being performed, The Final Push, makes fun of the lack of communication between Zimbabwe's ruling party and the opposition. The title refers to protest marches by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in 2003 that were violently dispersed by police.

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