Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) statement on the arrest and detention of CNN journalists by the police

The Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) condemns in the strongest terms the arrest and detention of CNN journalist, Robyn Currow and her cameraperson, Shevan Rayson by the police. Currow and Rayson were detained by police in Harare on 18 May 2011 after police stopped them from filming in the capital city.

Regardless of the fact that the two were later released, it is an issue of serious concern that the police would interfere with journalists who are only undertaking their professional duties be they from international or local media houses.

The ZRP unfortunately has a history of threatening and arresting (local and foreign) journalists doing their work and VMCZ urges the police to desist from harassing the media. Instead, the ZRP must serve to protect all journalists and media practitioners from any harm while they are executing their duties.

The VMCZ is also of the strong view that the ZRP needs to revisit its understanding of Section 20 of Zimbabwes Constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression and access to information. It is this section that makes the right of the Zimbabwean public and all media professionals to receive and impart information a fundamental human right and not a privilege.

Where the ZRP has a problem with a media story as is published by media practitioners and received by members of the public, the VMCZ has a Media Complaints Commitee and a Media Code of Conduct that all police officers can access and utilise for amicable resolution of complaints about media stories.

Post published in: News

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