Canadian arrested in Zimbabwe for taking photo

via Canadian arrested in Zimbabwe for taking photo | Toronto Sun NOVEMBER 06, 2013

Jan Corley said she was not scared, just very angry after she and two other Canadian women were arrested for taking photos at the Salvation Army’s Howard Hospital in Zimbabwe last month.

Corley, 60, of Peterborough, Ont., had previously volunteered at the hospital in April 2012 after she heard the hospital’s chief medical officer, Toronto-born doctor Paul Thistle, speak about it at an event. But when he was removed from his position in August 2012 — supporters say it was because he blew the whistle on corruption within the church — the hospital fell on hard times and donated funds from Corley’s church went missing.

Corley decided to return to the hospital last month, and she was joined by retired family practitioner Lorraine Irvine from Victoria, B.C., and Shirley Watkinson, an emergency room nurse from Winnipeg.

The three arrived at the hospital on Oct. 18 and Corley said she was shocked to see the once filled-to-the-brim hospital with so few patients.

“We wanted to go back and see the people, our friends and get a firsthand account of what Howard was like now as opposed to what it was like before,” Corley said Tuesday. “I was struck by the emptiness. There was hardly anybody inside.”

Corley and Watkinson began taking photographs and were about to leave when they were accosted by two male hospital employees, members of the Zimbabwean branch of the Salvation Army.

“They were pretty nasty,” she said.

The women walked away but were followed by the hospital’s administrator who ordered a nearby police officer to arrest them, Corley said.

All three women were forced into a Salvation Army vehicle.

“We were held against our will,” she said. “We were locked in the back.”

The women were taken to two different police stations and held for five or six hours before they were released after Watkinson agreed to delete all the photos on her camera.

Corley was able to conceal her camera before the group’s arrest and returned to Canada with her photos.

She said it was a tough experience to be treated that way by members of her own church, but she’s not going to let the experience keep her from returning.

“I’ll go back to Zimbabwe. That’s not going to stop me,” she said



  • comment-avatar
    Pastor 9 years ago

    Tourism is one of the key economic sectors of the country and the sector’s contribution to economic empowerment, employment creation, foreign currency generation and infrastructure development.Apparently, the economic meltdown had triggered a significant fall in tourist traffic into the country.In desperation, Zimbabwe had adopted a hopeless Look-East policy, targeting such countries like China, as a reaction to hostile perception on the country due to a chaotic land reform as well as a political and economic crisis that triggered widespread shortages.Why would a tourist be among such hostile and inhospitable people?

  • comment-avatar

    Don’t understand how the police can be used to do such things against people who actually want to help us. And Chihuri anongoita seasingazviziye zvese izvi…dununu

  • comment-avatar
    Zvapasipano 9 years ago

    What if she had good intentions with the photos. Zvimwe ngatifungewo mhani .

  • comment-avatar

    Which law did they break?

  • comment-avatar
    Charlie Cochrane 9 years ago

    The law of the jungle!

  • comment-avatar

    Arrest mzembi in London if he takes fotos

  • comment-avatar
    Sekuru Mapenga 9 years ago

    Just think about this story! This is how it is in Mr Mugabe’s country. Why can’t people take photographs without being arrested? What has become of us as a nation that we are against people taking photographs?

  • comment-avatar

    Is mzembi not going to the uk to promote tourism in zims.????
    There has got to be something in the zimbabwean sadza!!!How else do you explain this type of behaviour.

  • comment-avatar

    If you go to the any Western nation and start snapping pictures at a hospital, you will likely be detained also.

  • comment-avatar

    What kind of a sick twisted mind do you have? These were people who paid out of their own pocket to come to the country and help the people with their own two hands – because they care, unlike yourself. They were employees of the hospital, working for the Salvation Army. If you don’t want the help of people who care, then you deserve to drown in your own poop.

  • comment-avatar

    Not true at all! Especially if you work there. People take pictures in Western hospitals all the time – visitors, patients and employees. No one gets arrested, and no one is forced to delete their own pictures!

  • comment-avatar
    BlueStar 7 years ago

    In case you don’t know what it is to live in Canada, let me tell you. When you live in a FREE, rich and opened democratic country such as my beautiful Canada, where health services are free, welfare is given to poors and people that can’t work because of their physical conditions or jobless, jobs are available, education is free, free expression is a given right..and so on, multiple things and free services that exist you can’t even imagine they exist..and of course, no dictorship..and violence is not tolerated. And yes, you are allowed to take pictures and even film in a every hospital.