Journalists protest against police brutality

Source: Journalists protest against police brutality – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 29, 2017

JOURNALISTS from different media houses yesterday staged a peaceful demonstration against police brutality on reporters, who will be reporting demonstrations and sensitive stories.

BY STAFF REPORTER

Nearly 40 journalists marched from New Ambassador Hotel to Harare Central Police Station with their lips taped in protest over the arrest of reporters on duty.

At Harare Central Police Station they sought audience with the officer commanding Harare province, but only managed to meet with an Inspector Zibudubudu, the officer in charge of operations.

Zibudubudu met with journalist representatives, Blessed Mhlanga, Philimon Jambaya and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights lawyer, Farai Nhende to discuss the journalists’ grievances.

Mhlanga said the meeting with the police was useful and engagements would continue to ensure that journalists are protected, while executing their duties.

“Zibudubudu was very helpful, as he acknowledged that the continued attacks on journalists, while doing their work, was not in the best interests of both the police and the media,” he said.

“We are going to write a formal letter of complaint to the police, as a follow-up to the meeting.”

On Thursday, police officers allegedly assaulted NewsDay reporters, Obey Manayiti and Shepard Tozvireva for taking pictures of a scuffle between spike-throwing traffic officers and members of the public. The police officers attacked the driver, Raphael Phiri first, before turning on Manayiti and Tozvireva.

Civic organisations joined in condemning the attack on journalists by the police, saying attacking media personnel was a violation of the Constitution.

“The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association wishes to stress that the Constitution provides for freedom of expression and freedom of the media, and, therefore, the police’s harassment of journalists is brazenly unconstitutional,” the body said in a statement. “Journalists have the right to freely gather and disseminate information without undue interference and hindrances from the police.”

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