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Cablegate: Media Report Mass Action in Retrospect; Harare

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

UNCLAS HARARE 001179

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/PDPA DALTON, MITCHELL AND SIMS AND AF/S RAYNOR


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM KPAO KMDR ZI
SUBJECT: MEDIA REPORT MASS ACTION IN RETROSPECT; HARARE

1. Two journalists working for the independent short-wave
radio station Voice of the People (VOP) were detained and
beaten by ZANU-PF youths and war veterans at the beginning
(June 2) of the week-long mass protests organized by the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The
assailants confiscated the journalists' mobile phones and
minidisk recorders. Shorai Katiwa and Martin Chimenya were
attacked at the University of Zimbabwe while covering a
demonstration by students who intended to march to downtown
Harare. According to John Masuku, the Coordinator of VOP
who spoke to the MISA-Zimbabwe (Media Institute of Southern
Africa), the journalists were taken to Borrowdale Police
Station for interrogation. From Borrowdale they were taken
to the ZANU-PF Headquarters in the city center where they
were further interrogated and beaten.

2. Eight men wearing police uniforms and driving four
police cars raided the home of Edwina Spicer, a documentary
film producer, at midnight on June 6. Without producing a
search warrant, the unidentified intruders confiscated
video cameras, recording equipment, a fax machine and
Z$50,000. Mrs. Spicer is currently away on holiday in
England, but her gardener, maid and security guard were all
beaten during the raid. The break-in at the Spicer
residence has come under fire from MISA, who said in a June
7 statement that "the manner in which this search was
carried out clearly spells out the danger media workers are
under" in Zimbabwe.

SULLIVAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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