25 January 1999


NDIMA protests detention of journalist

Incident details

Clive Wilson



**Updates IFEX alerts of 22 January, 21 January, 18 January, 15 January and
13 January 1999**

(NDIMA/IFEX) - The following is a 23 January 1999 NDIMA letter to Zimbabwean
President Robert Mugabe protesting the detention of journalist Clive Wilson:

23 January 1999

To: President Robert Mugabe
Fax: 000 263 4 728299

Your Excellency,

On 21 January, we sent you an appeal on behalf of two journalists, Mark
Chavunduka and Roy Choto, who are facing charges arising out of their
professional duties of keeping the Zimbabwean public informed.

We protested the inhuman treatment and alleged torture of the writers while
in military and police custody and urged you to order investigations on
their claims and bring those who may have contravened the State or
international laws to book.

Even as we await your reaction to our appeal, we are deeply perturbed to
learn that the managing editor of the "Standard" newspaper, the same paper
that Chavunduka and Choto worked for, Mr. Clive Wilson, was arrested on 22
January by members of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and is now
in custody. We fear Mr. Wilson, like his colleagues Chavunduka and Choto,
might be subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment while in custody. We
believe that Mr. Wilson's arrest and detention are illegal and therefore
urge you to:

i) order his immediate release
ii) ensure he is not subjected to torture or ill-treatment while in custody
iii) drop all charges brought against the three journalists working for the
"Standard" newspaper.

We would like to remind you once again that the arrests, incarceration and
ill-treatment contravene Articles 5 and 19 of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights,
which Zimbabwe has signed, and Article 7 and 19 of the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. We are persuaded it is in your own
interest and that of your government to adhere to and respect international
laws and covenants.

Again, we anticipate your response to this and the earlier appeal.


Sam Mbure
Programme Director

cc Mr. Moven Mahachi, Minister of Defence

Recommended Action

Similar appeals can be sent to:

Appeals To

President Robert Mugabe
Office of the President
Causeway, Harare
Fax: +263 4 708 557

Please copy appeals to the source if possible.


More on this case

"Standard" journalists' trial date set 15 March 2000 Tortured journalists' trial deferred 7 January 2000 Court clears minister of contempt charges; spares newspaper costs 15 March 1999 Court rules for journalists to seek medical treatment, state appeals 24 February 1999 IFJ condemns Zimbabwe for arrests and torture 12 February 1999 WAN condemns Zimbabwe press crackdown 11 February 1999 Medical report details torture of two journalists 10 February 1999 Human Rights Watch protests new crackdown on Zimbabwe's independent media 10 February 1999 RSF protests deteriorating press freedom situation 9 February 1999 Three more journalists arrested 8 February 1999 ARTICLE 19 to support journalists' legal bid 3 February 1999 Newspaper director released unconditionally; government promises to crack down on bad press against military 27 January 1999 Police blockade peaceful protest 27 January 1999 Newspaper's managing editor appears in court 27 January 1999 NDIMA protests detention of journalist 25 January 1999 Fears for newspaper director high 25 January 1999 Journalists sent for full medical check-up amid disclosure of torture ordeal; further attacks on journalists; protest held in Namibia 22 January 1999 Journalists released on bail 21 January 1999 Detained journalists appear in court 21 January 1999 MISA concerned for health and well-being of detained journalists 21 January 1999 Journalists tortured while in custody 21 January 1999 WAN protests continued illegal detention of journalist 21 January 1999 Zimbabwean defence ministry continues to detain journalist 18 January 1999 Journalist still detained 15 January 1999 WAN condemns Zimbabwe press crackdown 11 February 1998 WAN condemns Zimbabwe press crackdown 11 February 1998 WAN condemns Zimbabwe press crackdown 11 February 1998 WAN condemns Zimbabwe press crackdown 11 February 1998 Editor arrested 13 January 1999
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