Journalists Provide An Essential Service

Ronald Chigwada

Civil Society organisations, human rights activists and media practitioners deplore the Zimbabwe Republic Police for disregarding human rights by continually harassing and arresting journalists covering the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking to CORAH, human rights activist, Linda Masarira she said harassment of journalists is a violation to citizen’s right to access information, ” media enables the monitoring and evaluation of projects that have been announced as part of strategies to mitigate food shortages to disadvantaged groups, just like nurses in uniform and soldiers in camouflage, the pen of the journalists needs to be freed from repressive laws so as to do their part in the protection of society through access to information”.

In a statement, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) condemned the continued harassment and arrests of journalists conducting their lawful professional duties following the 21-day COVID-19 lockdown. The journalists were either arrested for using the 2019-accreditation cards or for allegedly violating the lockdown regulations. Journalists are and should be protected by the law

It is the profession of journalism that has the responsibility of gathering and disseminating accurate news worldwide, notwithstanding the risk of catching the disease. It is inhuman for ZRP to create additional human-made risks by harassing and arresting media practitioners”, said Dr. Wurayayi Zembe leader of Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, ZRP spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Pual Nyathi warned members of the police to respect citizens’ rights and urges Zimbabweans to maintain stay at home order and report abuses by security forces on national duty.

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