Police assault freelance journalist

Police assault freelance journalist

Freelance journalist Terence Sipuma was on 11 April 2020 reportedly assaulted by members of the police and the army at the Kuwadzana roundabout in Harare while on his way to Chegutu to report on Zimbabwe’s 21-day COVID-19 lockdown.

According to Sipuma, who is a member of the Young Journalists Association (YOJA), he was stopped at the roundabout and asked where he was going.

“They asked where I was going and the moment I showed them my journalism I.D. (accreditation) card, I was asked to lie down (on the ground) and was beaten being accused of exposing them.

“They took my phone and as they were searching through the phone they promised me that they were going to do more if I had videos or pictures of that operation,” said Sipuma.

He told MISA Zimbabwe that he was released after about 15 minutes.

MISA Zimbabwe position

The police and the Zimbabwe Media Commission should urgently investigate these cases involving the continued assaults and harassment of journalists and bring the culprits to book, otherwise, these media freedom violations will continue with impunity thereby placing the lives of journalists at great risk.

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About MISA Zimbabwe

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.