first_img November 12, 2020 Find out more Reports ZimbabweAfrica Organisation November 27, 2020 Find out more June 13, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Letter to UN envoy on eve of departure for Zimbabwe News ZimbabweAfrica Zimbabwean court must free imprisoned journalist who is unwell Follow the news on Zimbabwe to go further Receive email alerts RSF_en News September 1, 2020 Find out more Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders wrote today to United Nations Assistant Secretary-General Haile Menkerios asking him to take account of the current climate of fear for the independent media in Zimbabwe when he arrives in Harare for talks with the government next week. Here is the text of the letter.Mr. Haile MenkeriosAssistant Secretary-General for Political AffairsDepartment of Political AffairsRoom 3570AUnited NationsNew York NY 10017Paris, 13 June 2008Dear Mr. MenkeriosIn view of your intention to visit Harare from 16 to 20 June, ahead of the 27 June presidential election run-off, Reporters Without Borders would like to brief you about the government’s serious press freedom violations and the climate of fear reigning among journalists and human rights activists.The election campaign and first round of the presidential election on 29 March were disastrous for press freedom. Eighteen journalists and media assistants were arrested. The climate has worsened since then, especially in recent weeks, with the authorities now using independence war veterans as a supplementary force for the security services. Our organisation is very concerned that the decisive second round will be the occasion for a further escalation in the repression.The campaign of intimidation and harassment of journalists has been stepped up in the approach to the second round. Each week, our organisation and local press freedom NGOs have registered cases of journalists being arrested arbitrarily or placed in custody for no reason, which is reinforcing the climate of fear and self-censorship. There have also been police raids on news media and independent organisations, and journalists have been unfairly dismissed from state-owned media.Journalists have not been the only victims of this campaign. The Zimbabwean authorities have violated their commitments by stepping up physical attacks and arrests involving the opposition, including its leaders, preventing the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which was ahead in the first round, from campaigning freely.Human rights activists have also been targeted. Abel Chikomo, for example, the head of Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum (ZHF) and a member of the Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ), was arrested during a police swoop on the MMPZ office in the western town of Binga on 7 June. Thirteen other people were arrested at the same time for holding an unauthorised public meeting. They were released without charge four days later.Christian Alliance news director Pius Wakatama and nine other members of religious organisations were arrested in a raid carried out on an ecumenical centre in Harare on 9 June by members of a military security unit and the Criminal Investigation Department. Wakatama, a journalist who used to work for The Standard, an independent weekly, and the Daily News, was finally released on the evening of the same day without being charged.The authorities carried out a radical screening of journalists authorised to cover the elections, in violation of international conventions signed by Zimbabwe, while the foreign media and their local employees are kept under constant surveillance, resulting in arrests and heavy sentences. Bernet Hasani Sono, Resemate Boy Chauke and Simon Maodi were stopped by police on 23 May as they were transporting equipment belonging to the British TV station Sky News and were given six-month prison sentences on 2 June for “unauthorised possession of TV broadcast equipment.”The government has also stepped up its restrictions on news entering the country from abroad. A tax of 40 per cent of the total cost per kilogram was imposed on imported print media a week ago with the aim limiting the circulation of foreign newspapers and magazines, and publications produced by Zimbabwean journalists in exile.Zimbabwe’s privately-owned press has been stifled and reduced to a handful of closely-watched publications, while journalists employed by the state media are punished if they do not contribute to government propaganda. The state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) fired seven reporters and news editors without explanation on 3 June. Internal sources said ZBC’s new editor in chief, an independence war veteran, accused them of giving too much air time to the main opposition party, the MDC.The behaviour of the government and its allies is making it very likely that the election results will be completely fraudulent. We think it is important that you should remind President Robert Mugabe that his government is guilty of repeated violations of the treaties and conventions that it signed. In 2004, for example, Zimbabwe agreed to comply with the Southern African Development Community’s “Principles and Rules Governing Democratic Elections,” which require member states to guarantee “total access to national and international media” during elections. Zimbabwe’s legislation, which is among the most repressive in the world towards the media, has flagrantly violated this principle for years.We hope that our information and proposal will be of use to you in your visit.Sincerely,Robert MénardSecretary-General Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono denied bail The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa Reporters Without Borders wrote today to United Nations Assistant Secretary-General Haile Menkerios asking him to take account of the current climate of fear for the independent media in Zimbabwe when he arrives in Harare for talks with the government next week. Newslast_img read more

first_imgWhat a whirlwind it’s been so far for USC’s 2014-15 football team.A player (and captain nonetheless) sprained his ankles and lied about the cause before another player quit the team, alleging head coach Steve Sarkisian was racist. USC’s athletic director was fined for trotting down to the sidelines at Stanford, and then Boston College showed them up on a national stage.As someone muttered in the press box after the BC loss, “USC can’t have one easy season.”So the bye this week really comes at a good time for the Trojan football team. Through just three games this year, those student-athletes have endured more scrutiny and media attention than some other teams across the country will all season.Lucky for them, they get a break — a chance to step out of the spotlight. And that break presents all of the other teams here at USC with an opportunity to shine.Students, allow me to direct your attention to our women’s volleyball, women’s soccer and men’s water polo teams in competition this weekend.Today, USC’s undefeated women’s soccer team hosts Arkansas-Pine Bluff at McAlister Field at 3 p.m. If you haven’t been following along all season (I can’t imagine why), let me bring you up to date.A year removed from going 8-10-2 on the season, which led to the firing of former head coach Ali Khosroshahin, the No. 15 Women of Troy (5-0-2) are off to a hot start.Under new head coach Keidane McAlpine, they’ve outscored their opponents by a combined 19-5 score through seven games (including an 8-1 walloping of UC Riverside).After (hopefully) dispatching of the one-win Arkansas-Pine Bluff Lions today, the Women of Troy will host Pepperdine in their last non-conference game before starting Pac-12 play.The 12th-ranked Waves will present a formidable challenge for the Women of Troy on Sunday afternoon, and that game — which will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks at 3:30 p.m. if you can’t make it out — is sure to be a close one.USC’s women’s volleyball team will also be competing this weekend in Seattle. The Women of Troy opened up the season with six straight wins, but much like the football team, suffered a shocking weekend, losing to Texas A&M and Florida.USC’s women’s volleyball team lost 3-1 against No. 4 Wisconsin last night, but will face off against Maryland at 5:30 p.m. today on the Pac-12 Networks, and the team is sure to play with a chip on its shoulder and bounce back from three straight losses.Then there’s the legendary USC men’s water polo team. The Trojans, who are ranked third in the nation behind Stanford and UCLA despite winning the last six consecutive national championships and starting this season 8-0, are playing in the Kap7 (no, Colin Kaepernick is not sponsoring a water polo tournament) NorCal Classic in Stockton, California.The Trojan water polo squad, led by head coach Jovan Vavic, will face some steep competition in the tournament this weekend.Even USC’s women’s cross country team competes this weekend. Yes, USC has a women’s cross country team, and this weekend they’ll be running in Santa Clarita, California.I told myself that I was glad USC didn’t have a football game this Saturday so that I could watch the other big games all day, but let’s be honest, there are no big games this weekend.No. 1 Florida State takes on No. 22 Clemson without Jameis Winston for a half, but I have a hard time believing that will make any difference. Eastern Michigan at No. 11 Michigan State? Don’t care. Troy at No. 13 Georgia? Don’t care. Florida at No. 3 Alabama? I care a teeny tiny bit.With the uninspiring college football schedule this weekend, there’s no good excuse not to pay attention to the other Trojan student-athletes in action, home and away.Show up, tune in, incessantly check Twitter — do whatever you can to show your support. Aubrey Kragen is a senior majoring in communication. She is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. Her column, “Release the Kragen,” runs Fridays.last_img read more