Zimbabwean journalist Leopold Munhende was arrested and detained by the police in Zimbabwe in the capital Harare on 23 August while performing his professional duties. He was released after spending a day in custody. The IFJ joins its affiliate the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) in protesting this arbitrary detention.
Munhende was arrested and bundled into a police truck on Friday morning while he was filming members of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union (ARTUZ) who were picketing outside the new government complex.
Despite the fact that he showed his press pass to the police, he was nevertheless bundled into the truck and spent the day in custody before being released at the end of the day.
The Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists, (ZUJ), Foster Dongozi said that the arrests and assaults of journalists were “unacceptable and a disgrace” and called for an end to the acts of aggression and brutality being perpetrated by the police on journalists.
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “The police in Zimbabwe must realise that reporting on issues of public interest by journalists is not a crime. The arbitrary arrest of journalists by security officers while executing their duties is a violation of their fundamental right to freedom of expression and goes against the citizens’s right to independent and impartial information. Such unwarranted arrests are nothing more than acts of intimidation that are geared towards undermining the truth.”
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to guarantee the safety and security of journalists and media personnel in the execution of their duties.