Journalists barred from entering court by anti-riot police
Several journalists were on 16 January 2023 reportedly barred by anti-riot police from entering a courtroom at the Harare Magistrates Court to cover the initial appearance of opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) supporters arrested for participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of peace or bigotry.
The journalists were denied entry because the courtroom was full despite duly producing their accreditation cards.
However, the police reportedly allowed two state media journalists representing The Herald and Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) to enter the courtroom.
MISA Zimbabwe reiterates its call for all responsible authorities, including the police, always to promote equality and non-discrimination as espoused in the Constitution.
This includes ensuring that all media houses are provided equal opportunity to undertake their professional duties.
In that regard, the police should, therefore, not selectively apply their directives at the exclusion of other journalists as this frowns on the principles of media pluralism and diversity.
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1992. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.
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