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Zimbabwean photojournalist arrested, forced to erase images
July 17, 2012
Aaron Ufumeli was on 17 July 2012 arrested while covering a demonstration
organised by the women's movement at the Africa Unity Square in
works for the privately-owned NewsDay, was arrested around 9:30am
(GMT+2) by an unidentified police officer while taking pictures
of what appeared to be a confrontation between a police officer
and one of the demonstrators.
Members of the
women's movement in the country were demonstrating against the arrest
of women for "loitering and practising prostitution" after
9pm. This follows incidents of arrests of women by the police, particularly
in Harare's Central Business District.
confiscated Ufumeli's camera for about twenty minutes insisting
that the photographs that he had taken be erased.
to call Harare police spokesperson Inspector James Sabau to come
and clarify the issue with the police. The photojournalist was only
released after Sabau liaised with the arresting details. Ufumeli's
camera was only returned to him around 10am after he had erased
the photographs in question at the police's insistence.
No charges were
preferred against him.
condemns the police's actions as unwarranted heavy handedness against
journalists conducting their lawful professional duties. Such actions
only serve to tarnish the image of Zimbabwe as an intolerant police
state and should thus be condemned in the strongest terms possible.
the MISA-Zimbabwe fact
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