Zimbabwe: State of Siege - Zimbabwe Puts the Boot in Journalism and Freedom of Speech


Violent attacks on journalists, student leaders and other voices happening in full view of the police paint a worrying image of the country's ever-declining humanitarian situation.

"Journalism has been criminalised," said award-winning journalist Hopewell Chin'ono during one of his court appearances in August before he was granted bail on 2 September.

Chin'ono, who is facing charges of "inciting public violence", is one of many journalists who are faced with a massive clampdown on the media and other dissenting voices in Zimbabwe.

At least six journalists were physically assaulted on 18 September and their equipment was vandalised by unidentified assailants while they were covering a press conference by Zimbabwe National Students' Union (Zinasu) president Takudzwa Ngadziore in Harare.

Ngadziore, who is out on ZW$2,000 (R350) bail granted on 14 September, was arrested on 10 September after leading a protest against the alleged abduction by state agents, using an Impala Car Rental vehicle, of journalism student Tawanda Muchehiwa. The student leader led protesters at the Harare-based car rental offices, demanding the company release details of the alleged abductors after CCTV footage revealed the car that was used in the abduction.

As part of his bail conditions, Ngadziore was ordered by the magistrates'...

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