The South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) has called for the immediate and unconditional release of Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono.
He was detained on Friday and charged with communicating falsehoods.
Chin’ono’s lawyers say his arrest is unwarranted and the charges are incorrect. Chin’ono has been arrested for the third time in six months.
He faces charges of communicating false information. Chin’ono’s lawyer Harrison Nkomo says the latest charges stem from a Twitter post by his client saying a police officer had killed a child strapped to its mother’s back.
Police say investigations show that the baby is still alive.
SANEF also calls on the Zimbabwean police to stop the relentless intimidation and harassment of Chin’ono.
Meanwhile, SANEF has called on the leadership of Zimbabwe’s ZANU-PF to step in and discipline its Director of Information and Publicity, Tafadzwa Tuboy Mugwadi.
SANEF says he is assaulting media freedom and freedom of expression with his daily posts on social media.
SANEF also notes his comments directed at SABC News Foreign Editor Sophie Mokoena and describes them as a ” bid to intimidate, harass and stop her from doing her job “.
SANEF says Mugwadi seems to have taken personally tough questions about the whereabouts of Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa amid the coronavirus crisis in the country.
SANEF advises both Mugwadi and the ZANU-PF to direct any complaints to the SABC management and the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA).
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