Philimon Bulawayo, a photographer with the independent Daily News, and Gugulethu Moyo, the newspaper’s lawyer, were released on 20 March on the orders of the high court, which ruled that their arrest was illegal. All charges have been dropped. They were taken to a Harare clinic for treatment to injuries resulting from ill-treatment while detained.
Photographer and lawyer for the Daily News arrested
Reporters Without Borders protested today against the arrest of photographer Philimon Bulawayo, of the independent Daily News, while he was covering a demonstration in Harare on 18 March and the detention of the paper’s lawyer, Gugulethu Moyo, as she went to the suburban Glen View police station a few hours later to obtain Bulawayo’s release
Bulawayo and Ms Moyo were beaten when they were arrested and the next day were transferred to Harare central police station. The paper has had no news of them since then. Another lawyer for the paper went to the station to demand that they be brought speedily before a judge and taken to hospital for treatment.
Reporters Without Borders called on the authorities to free them at once and ensure that journalists were able to report freely and without danger on opposition activities and demonstrations by civil society groups.
"Once again, the Daily News has been targeted for its opinions," said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard. "Every week, its reporters or photographers are harassed by the police." He noted that Zimbabwe had the worst press freedom record in Southern Africa and one of the worst in the whole continent where journalists were concerned.
Demonstrations were held at several places around the country on 18 and 19 Mach in response to an appeal by the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). A strike call was also followed by workers in many firms and businesses. About 120 people were arrested over the two days, the MDC said. Police reported arresting 63 people for violent behaviour.