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Cablegate: Media Update: Cnn Crew Prevented From Filming Near

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLASSIFIED PTO9551

PAGE 01 HARARE 00944 080918Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CIAE-00 SMEC-00
USNW-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00
EB-00 EUR-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 H-01
TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01
NSAE-00 OIC-02 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00
ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 STR-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00
PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-01 DRL-02 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00
/010W
------------------CF1182 080918Z /38
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8374
INFO NSC WASHDC
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY PARIS

UNCLAS HARARE 000944

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF, AF/S, AF/PD

LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HARARE 00944 080918Z
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PGOV KPAO KDEM PINR ZI
SUBJECT: MEDIA UPDATE: CNN CREW PREVENTED FROM FILMING NEAR
SUPREME COURT IN HARARE

1. POLICE OFFICERS, ARMY PERSONEL, AND AN UNIDENTIFIED
CIVILIAN PREVENTED AMCIT BOB COEN, THE CNN STRINGER IN
ZIMBABWE, FROM FILMING NEAR THE SUPREME COURT ON MARCH
7. COEN, WHO HAS LIVED IN ZIMBABWE AND WORKED OFF AND
ON FOR CNN FOR NEARLY 10 YEARS, WAS ATTEMPTING TO TAPE
A STAND-UP PIECE IN FRONT OF THE SUPREME COURT
BUILDING.

2. ALTHOUGH COEN AND HIS CREW FILMED IN PRECISELY THE SAME
LOCATION SEVERAL TIMES DURING THE WEEK OF FEB 26, TODAY
THE RULES CHANGED. FIRST A POLICE OFFICER TOLD COEN HE
HAD TO LEAVE. WHEN COEN PROTESTED, AN ARMY OFFICER
TOLD HIM HE HAD TO MOVE AWAY FROM THE COURT AND TOWARD
THE PARLIAMENT. COEN ENGAGED BOTH IN A CONVERSATION,
TRYING TO PERSUADE THEM THAT HE HAD FILMED IN THE SAME
LOCATION AS RECENTLY AS LAST WEEK. THEN, AN
UNIDENTIFIED MAN IN CIVILIAN CLOTHING EMERGED FROM THE
PARLIAMENT BUILING, PHYSICALLY PUSHED COEN AND WARNED
HIM THAT HE WOULD SMASH COEN'S CAMERA UNLESS HE LEFT
IMMEDIATELY. WITHIN SECONDS OF THIS ENCOUNTER, MEMBER
OF PARLIAMENT AND LEADER OF THE ZIMBABWE LIBERATION WAR
VETERANS ASSOCIATION CHENJERAI "HITLER" HUNZVI EMERGED
FROM THE PARLIAMENT BUILDING. COEN DECIDED TO DEPART
THE SCENE.

3. COEN CALLED THE MINISTRY OF INFORMATION TO PROTEST THIS
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 00944 080918Z
TREATMENT (HE IS A LEGAL RESIDENT OF ZIMBABWE AND HAS
THE THUS-FAR APPROPRIATE MEDIA CREDENTIALS), BUT WAS
TOLD THAT THE AREA AROUND THE PARLIAMENT AND THE
SUPREME COURT IS NOW "RESTRICTED." COEN WAS UNABLE TO
GET A CLEAR DEFINITION OF WHAT THAT MEANS, WHEN THE
AREA BECAME "RESTRICTED," OR HOW A JOURNALIST GAINS
PERMISSION TO WORK WITHIN THE AREA. (NB: WITH THE
EXCEPTION OF A CLOSED PARKING LOT IMMEDIATELY WEST OF
THE PARLIAMENT AND THE SUPREME COURT, THE REST OF THE
AREA IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. MAJOR THOROUGHFARES PASS
DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF BOTH BUILDINGS AND "AFRICA UNITY
SQUARE," A PLEASANT AND POPULAR PUBLIC AREA, IS
DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE PARLIAMENT. IT
WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO "RESTRICT" THIS AREA WITHOUT
MAJOR DISRUPTION OF PUBLIC LIFE IN DOWNTOWN HARARE.)

4. COEN WAS NOT AT ALL HARMED, NOR WAS HIS EQUIPMENT
DAMAGED DURING THE ENCOUNTER. HE TOLD EMBOFF THAT HE
WAS SIMPLY SADDENED BY THE EXPERIENCE AND ANGRY ABOUT
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN ZIMBABWE.
IRVING

UNCLASSIFIED

>

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