|20 September 2001
SOUTHERN AFRICA: Media watchdog cites press freedom violations
Authorities in parts of
southern Africa have pursued the harassment of journalists despite efforts to
improve the situation, a report by the Media Institute of Southern Africa
(MISA) was quoted as saying on Thursday.
MISA chairman Joseph Masanilo
pointed to Angola, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Swaziland as countries which have seen
arrests and threats to journalists, with the closure of media organisations,
especially private ones. "But we must not lose hope," Masanilo told
representatives of media from 11 southern African countries in his report to
the MISA annual general assembly.
"However, let us warn ourselves once
again that the struggle for press freedom and related human rights is not an
easy one," Masanilo was quoted as saying. He said MISA this year had a "bitter
experience" in Swaziland when the authorities shut down a newspaper and
arrested several journalists on the grounds that they had defamed the King.
"I would like to recall the brutal events against the media and
journalists in Angola and Zambia. In Zimbabwe, journalists and reporters have
been threatened by authorities," Masanilo said. (IRIN)