Zimbabwe court quashes journalists' arrest

Harare- Zimbabwe (PANA) -- The High Court in Zimbabwe has freed four journalists from police detention after ruling that the law under which they were being charged for allegedly running a false story was illegal.
Police had earlier picked up Geoffrey Nyarota, editor of the country's sole private daily newspaper, his assistant editor, news editor and reporter for questioning in connection with a story the Daily News ran last Tuesday alleging police vehicles were used to transport property looted from white-owned farms.
But the High Court ruled that the Law and Order Maintenance Act, under which the journalists were being charged, was unconstitutional because it infringed on freedom of expression.
Police, meanwhile, denied their vehicles were used in Chinhoyi to transport looted goods from commercial farms where property estimated at more than 5 million US dollars was stolen in four days of rioting, after a group of white farmers attacked newly resettled peasants in the area.
The Daily News had quoted an unnamed commercial farmer as saying police were allegedly involved in the looting on the farms.
This is the latest in a series of arrests of journalists at the newspaper by police for allegedly running false stories.

17 august 2001 16:15:00

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