This statement was originally published on misa.org on November 2, 2017.
As the world commemorates International Day to end Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, MISA Zimbabwe urges the Zimbabwean government to investigate cases involving the assault of journalists conducting their lawful professional duties.
The investigations will assist in bringing the culprits to book and send a clear message to other would-be perpetrators that the government does not tolerate these wanton acts of impunity against journalists.
Cases that immediately come to mind involve the manhandling of NewsDay senior reporter Richard Chidza by ruling Zanu PF youths who shoved and slapped him at the end of a press conference on 19 October 2017 demanding that he reveals the source of a story regarding an alleged fall-out within the youth league’s leadership ranks.
On 29 September 2017 journalists Mugove Tafirenyika and Brighton Goko who work for the privately owned Daily News sustained serious injuries after being assaulted by the police while covering demonstrations in Harare’s central business district.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2 November as International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists in commemoration of the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on 2 November 2013.
In that regard, the UN urges member states to do their utmost to prevent violence against journalists and media workers and bring perpetrators to justice as well as promoting a safe and enabling environment for journalists to work independently and without undue interference.