Media freedom violations amidst political demonstrations

The army on 1 August 2018 ordered journalists covering riotous demonstrations over delays in the release of presidential election results in Harare to switch off their video recording equipment and cameras.

The riots broke out in the capital resulting in government deploying the army to quell the demonstrations. Army helicopters and military vehicles were seen heading into the Harare central business district.

By late afternoon, the ZEC command centre at Rainbow Towers hotel had been sealed off as running battles between citizens and security forces continued close to the centre.

MISA Zimbabwe Position

MISA Zimbabwe condemns the censoring of media practitioners covering developing events in the capital. The right to access information and media freedom as provided for in the constitution remains fundamental as the nation and the world deserves to know about what is happening in Zimbabwe.

MISA Zimbabwe also reminds media practitioners to employ the profession’s safety and security measures while covering hostile situations. Media practitioners are advised to also utilise the MISA JournoSOS App as well as the MISA Panic Button App in the event of any violations. MISA Zimbabwe staff is also on standby to assist media practitioners injured or arrested in the line of duty. The MISA Hotline is 0784 437 338.

Source: MISA Zimbabwe

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