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calls on Zimbabwean government to end media repression
Federation of Journalists
May 22, 2007
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on
the Zimbabwean government to end its attacks and harassment of journalists
and to stop police harassment of newspaper photographer Boldwill
very upset by recent incidents that show a pattern of media repression
and we urge the government to put an end to it," said Gabriel
Baglo, Director of the IFJ Africa Office. "Violent attacks
on journalists and other media workers are having chilling effect
in Zimbabwe and sending a message that the government will use force
to silence journalists that publish news it wants to keep out of
Hungwe is a
photographer with The Standard newspaper. In its Sunday's edition,
the paper published pictures of attorney Beatrice Mtetwa severely
injured after she was abducted and tortured by police. The security
forces broke up a gathering of lawyers in Harare the previous week.
According to IFJ sources, after the photo was published the police
called Hungwe and told him to turn himself in at the police station.
The photographer has been in hiding since then.
journalists has been increasing in Zimbabwe. The dead body of cameraman
Edward Chikombo was found in April a few days after he was abducted
from his home by armed men. Chikombo was suspected of having leaked
the footage of the demonstrations and images of brutalised opposition
activists which flooded international media organisations like the
BBC and CNN. A few weeks before his death at least three other journalists
were arrested and badly beaten in custody.
The IFJ is also
calling on authorities to release Luke Tamborinyoka, who has been
imprisoned for two months after a crackdown on the opposition.
press officer of the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), was arrested along with about 30 MDC members when police
raided the party's headquarters on March 28. He was reportedly badly
beaten and tortured while in custody and has been denied access
to medical treatment and legal representation since his arrest.
Tamborinyoka was the former news editor of newspaper The Daily News
until it was banned in 2003 and he is a former Secretary General
of the Zimbabwe
Union of Journalists.
information contact the IFJ: +221 842 01 43. The IFJ represents
over 500,000 journalists in more than 115 countries.
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