A press freedom group is reacting to a warning to western media by Zimbabwe’s government. The government says it may take action against journalists, including VOA reporter Peta Thornycroft, for allegedly supporting US government policy and regime change in Zimbabwe.
Robert Mahoney is the deputy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). From New York, he spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua.
“We’re very concerned by this. It’s yet another form of intimidation on the part of the Zimbabwean government to keep reporters out of the country. There’s a huge gap in the reporting in Zimbabwe, Events are taking place in the country which are not properly covered. This may suit the government, but we as a press freedom organization call on the government in Zimbabwe to be completely open and honest about this and to allow foreign journalists into the country and allow them to work unimpeded,” he says.
The CPJ has complained before about attacks on the media in Zimbabwe. “We publicized violations of journalists’ rights and press freedom abuses in Zimbabwe. And we constantly monitor the situation because it’s extremely difficult for journalists not only to get into the country, but once they’re in the country to move around. And I must add it’s also very difficult for Zimbabwean journalists, who reside in the country, to do their job, too,” he says.