8 February 1999


Three more journalists arrested

Incident details


**Updates IFEX alerts of 3 February, 29 January, 27 January, 25 January,
22 January, 21 January, 18 January, 15 January and 13 January 1999**

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - The following is an ARTICLE 19 press release:

London, 8 February 1999 - for immediate release

Zimbabwe media faces big chill as three more journalists arrested

ARTICLE 19 today called upon the Zimbabwean authorities to ensure
compliance with human rights law following the arrest this morning of
another three journalists in Harare. The organisation expressed concern
for Ferayi Mungazi, Grace Kwinjeh and Fernando Goncalves of the Mirror
newspaper, who were picked up for questioning at 10am Zimbabwe time, and
called upon the government to ensure that they are not tortured.

The CID did not tell them what the charges were, but it appears that
they are being held in connection with a story which was printed on 30
October 1998, relating to Zimbabwe's role in the war in the Democratic
Republic of Congo.

Over the weekend, President Mugabe finally broke his silence over the
issue of the two journalists who were tortured last month after police
handed them over to the military. Unprecedented criticism by Zimbabwe's
judiciary has now been met by threats and accusations.

Andrew Puddephatt, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19, said:

"ARTICLE 19 strongly protests the trend of attacks on the media and
judiciary - crude attempts by the government to censor information,
intimidate critics and deflect attention from the true cost of
Zimbabwe's involvement in the DRC conflict.

"The government must be left in no doubt that such behaviour will not be
tolerated by the international community," he added.

ARTICLE 19 is to support a direct appeal to the Zimbabwean Supreme Court
on behalf of the two Sunday Standard journalists who were arrested and
tortured last month. They now face charges of disseminating false news.
Lawyers for Mark Chavunduka and Roy Choto will challenge the statute
under which the journalists have been charged - 'publication of false
news likely to cause fear, alarm or despondency among the general
public' - on the grounds that
it is contrary to the guarantee of freedom of expression set out in the
Zimbabwean Constitution. ARTICLE 19 will provide information on
international and comparative law to support this challenge.


ARTICLE 19: Global Campaign for Free Expression
6-8 Amwell Street
United Kingdom
info (@) article19.org
Phone: +44 20 7278 9292
Fax: +44 20 7278 7660

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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