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Zimbabwe19 December 2003

Reporters Without Borders calls for reopening of Daily News print works

Reporters Without Borders has strongly condemned the actions of Zimbabwe police who sealed the print works of The Daily News on 19 December to thwart attempts to resume publishing after a judge lifted a ban on the paper earlier in the day. "The Zimbabwe authorities are determined to gag The Daily News at all costs. Police intervention at the print works had the sole aim of preventing a judgement given in favour of the newspaper being applied," said Robert Ménard, secretary general of Reporters Without Borders. "We urge the authorities to allow The Daily News and its print works to operate freely in line with the court ruling," he added. The Bulawayo administrative court, presided by Judge Selo Nare, had ruled that the privately-owned newspaper could resume publication. As soon as the decision was announced, the president of the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) that publishes the newspaper, said that the group’s printing press was already rolling and that an edition of the newspaper would be "on the streets of Harare from today." On 11 September, the Supreme Court declared the Daily News illegal because it was not registered by the media and information commission as required by the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). The ANZ had refused to register the newspaper because it contested the constitutional standing of the AIPPA. Police put the ruling into effect and closed the newspaper on 12 September, locking the premises. A few days later the security forces seized without warrant dozens of computers belonging to ANZ. Between the end of September and the end of October some 50 journalists and executives of the Daily News were charged with illegally practising their profession.


19 December 2003

Reporters Without Borders delighted at lifting of ban on Daily News Reporters

Without Borders has expressed satisfaction at a Bulawayo court decision allowing The Daily News to reappear. It had been closed since mid-September after the Supreme Court declared it illegal. "We are delighted at this decision which will once again give Zimbabweans access to news that is independent and critical of the government. "It is important for citizens of this country to get different points of view. Since the closure of the Daily News all that has been published is the official version of events," said Reporters Without Borders. The Daily News learned on 19 December that the Bulawayo administrative court, presided by Judge Selo Nare, was lifting the ban on publication of the privately-owned newspaper. As soon as the decision was announced, the president of the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) that publishes the newspaper, said that the group’s printing press was already rolling and that an edition of the newspaper would be "on the streets of Harare from today." On 11 September, the Supreme Court declared the Daily News illegal because it was not registered by the media and information commission as required by the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). The ANZ had refused to register the newspaper because it contested the constitutional standing of the AIPPA. Police put the ruling into effect and closed the newspaper on 12 September, locking the premises. A few days later the security forces seized without warrant dozens of computers belonging to ANZ. Between the end of September and the end of October some 50 journalists and executives of the Daily News were charged with illegally practising their profession. The international press freedom organisation recalled that President Robert Mugabe features on its list of "predators" of press freedom worldwide. On 10 December, The Daily News won the Reporters Without Borders-Fondation de France 2003 prize in the Media category.



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