'Sky News crew held for 12hrs'

JOHANNESBURG - A Sky News journalist has spoken of how Zimbabwe officials held her and a cameraperson in a room for 12 hours this week, searching their phones and documents and refusing them access to a lawyer before they were finally deported.

Alex Crawford, a British journalist who is currently based in South Africa, and cameraperson Garwen McLuckie were picked up shortly after they interviewed popular “protest pastor” Evan Mawarire in Harare following his release from police custody on Wednesday.

In an article posted on Sky’s website Crawford said: “Shortly after our interview with the pastor the Sky crew were detained at our lodgings and invited to accompany a team of police and immigration officials to the international airport in the back of a police van.”

“This was despite an invitation we had been given from officials, clearing all usual immigration channels on landing in the capital and being escorted by a group of government workers on arrival,” Crawford added.

“We were held in a room for about 12 hours while we were questioned by a large group of officials, our bags searched, telephones examined and all personal and official documents inspected with some removed and photographed,” she wrote.

The targeting of the Sky crew would bring back memories of the post-2001 clampdown on foreign journalists in Zimbabwe.

Under tough Aippa press laws, several foreign reporters were deported and many locals — almost entirely those working for the private press — have been arrested.

There was an attempt to deport a Sky News crew filming in Zimbabwe in 2004 by the then information minister Jonathan Moyo, even though it later emerged that the reporters had been invited by other ruling party officials.

Comments (1)

In as much as I detest our local journalists leaning on Mugabe thereby helping to suppress Zimbabweans, I have no remorse or shame as a Zimbabwean when journalists from Skynews (and other European/American media houses) are treated badly in Zimbabwe. They are hypocrites who have despicable attitudes of looking down upon black people. Ofen you can find even a dirty and stupid journalist projecting a black skin as inferior to her/his (white skin) in her/his reporting. These are the same journalists who who go out to Africa with the sole purpose of making documentaries about Africans for their audience back home portraying us as backward and uncivilized as though they have none of that in their own countries. They take advantage of our leaders like Mugabe who who, instead of bringing good governance to the people who elected him, has no clue about developing the country - instead he focusses on being in power at the expense of the people. We fought an armed struggle to get rid of injustices hoping to usher in a government accountable to all citizens of Zimbabwe. What we got is a bunch of looters corrupt to the core who destroyed everything upon which societal systems depended on their functioning. What we have now as our country Zimbabwe is a mere dummy in which nobody knows if the sun will rise tomorrow.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 16 July 2016

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.