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Zimbabwe25 August 2008

Reporter who saw police violence freed after several hours

Reporter Rutendo Mawere of the privately-owned weekly The Standard, who was arrested on 21 August in Gweru (in Midlands province), 280 km southwest of Harare, was released a few hours later without being charged.

21.08.2008 - Reporter arrested in provincial town as she watches police violence

Reporters Without Borders calls for the release of reporter Rutendo Mawere of The Standard weekly newspaper, who was arrested yesterday in Gweru (in Midlands province), 280 km southwest of Harare, while watching police beat residents who had been queueing outside a shop for basic staples.

“As the search for a negotiated solution to the political crisis continues, journalists are still being subjected to police brutality, arbitrary arrest and constant intimidation,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Trying to hide the destitution of the population by arresting witnesses is shameful. Orders should be given for Mawere to be freed at once.”

After being arrested, Mawere was taken Gweru police station where she is still being held without being formally charged. She has the required press accreditation from the Media Information Commission.

Her arrest comes two weeks after freelance photographer Tsvangirai Mukwazhi fled Zimbabwe with his family after being attacked and beaten at his home on 29 July by the Harare police, who accused him of owning an improperly registered car. The police still have his vehicle. Mukwazhi and his family have found refuge abroad.

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