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Journalists detained and forced to delete footage

11 Sep, 2021

What happened

Senior journalist and MISA Zimbabwe Board Member, Pamenus Tuso and freelance journalist Brenda Lulu Harris were detained by members of the military police and forced to delete their footage. The two were covering the MDC Alliance 22nd anniversary commemorations that happened in Burnside, Bulawayo.

They were approached by a plain-clothed police officer who asked them why they were taking pictures before taking them to his superior who identified himself as a member of the military police. They were detained for over thirty minutes at the venue, despite having identified themselves as journalists and produced accreditation cards.

MISA's position

MISA Zimbabwe wishes to remind the security personnel enforcing the lockdown regulations, that journalists were declared essential services and should therefore not be unjustifiably detained but instead be allowed to undertake their professional duties without fear.

MISA-Zimbabwe urges the security forces in Zimbabwe and all other stakeholders to respect media freedom as envisaged in Section 61 of the Constitution which provides the right to seek, receive and impart information.

The journalists have a duty to receive and impart information without fear or favour. Hence our reminder, Journalisms is not a crime!

MISA Zimbabwe urges members of the media community and the public to report any media violations on the MISA Hotline: 0784 437 338. MISA Zimbabwe staff is also on standby to assist media practitioners injured or arrested in the line of duty.

About MISA

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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Military police
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