Heal Zimbabwe Statement on World Press Freedom Day

Heal Zimbabwe joins the rest of the world in commemorating World Press Freedom Day. The theme for this year “Journalism under Siege” highlights multiple ways in which surveillance and digitally mediated attacks endanger journalists.

World Press Freedom day recognizes the sacrifices by journalists to ensure that they report news without fear or favour. The commemorations for this year are taking place at a time when the world is still reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and journalists across the world are in line of duty ensuring free flow of accurate information and telling stories without fear or favour. This demonstrates that the media is an important organ of any democratic society. It is the backbone of any democratic society as it makes citizens vigilant of numerous social, political and economic activities. Even in times of disasters, the media has continued to play its role of informing, entertaining and educating citizens on key issues. Heal Zimbabwe acknowledges the important role played by the media to build peace and social cohesion. During Zimbabwe’s past episodes of violence such as Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina and the 2008 violence, the media played the critical role of informing the world about the violence.

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, Heal Zimbabwe implores the government to ensure that journalists are always protected from any form of victimization and allowed to conduct their duties freely. Added to this, government must further operationalize an Independent Complaints mechanism that will receive and investigate complaints from citizens about the misconduct on the part of members of the security services in the event that they violate fundamental human rights of journalists or citizens.

Source: Heal Zimbabwe

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