Independent journo assaulted

HARARE – The brutal assault on press freedom in

“on”>Zimbabwe continues, despite widespread international condemnation. Former Tribune and Zimbabwe Independent senior reporter, Gift Phiri, who has been working as an international freelance journalist was assaulted by three unidentified men recently and accused me of writing for anti-government agencies and being anti-Zanu (PF).

Phiri sustained several injuries at the hands of his assailants, who accused him of working for VOA News, ZimOnline and ZimDaily – which he does not. They also demanded to know the names of other journalists writing for independent radio and web-based news organisations.
”I lost my cell phone during the attack, which can only be reminiscent of the military junta in Burma. I sustained a deep cut above my left eye, and bruises on my left elbow. Blood-soaked, I headed straight to Sunningdale Police Camp where I made
a report,” said a still-shaken Phiri, who suspects that he knows the identify of at least one of his attackers.

Despite having the name of the investigating office a case number and a promise that the case would be fully investigated leading to an ID parade of suspects, no progress has been made for three weeks.

Phiri said the attack was ominous in that it came hard on the heels of State Security minister Didymus Mutasa’s warning that the ‘net was closing’ on anti-government journalists. “I now fear for my life,” he said.

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