The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa in his capacity as Chairperson of the African Union, over the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe.
Harare has been accused of a vicious crackdown on dissidents as the country battles severe economic problems.
SABC News‘ Sherwin Bryce-Pease says the committee has received confirmation of receipt of the letter by Ramaphosa’s office.
“They refer to the declaration of peoples principles on freedom of expression and access to information in Africa which was adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights within the African Union. This is what they put in this letter to President [Cyril] Ramaphosa.”
“Principle 20 … States shall be liable for the conduct of law enforcement, security intelligence, the military and other personnel which threatens [and] undermines [or] violates safety of journalists and other media practitioners. So, they are essentially saying the documents exist, members states must adhere to them, enforce what your member states have agreed to,” explains Bryce-Pease.
The video below is reporting on United Nations’ reaction to human rights situation in Zimbabwe:
The committee has labelled the decision to deny bail to an investigative journalist in Zimbabwe as a vindictive move by authorities.
A High Court Judge dismissed an appeal for bail by Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, which means his week-long detainment over charges of inciting violence could continue indefinitely.
Both the United Nations Secretary-General and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights have called on Zimbabwe’s authorities to live up to their human rights obligations.
In the video below, Simba Chikanza warns that crackdowns in Zimbabwe could see thousands fleeing to neighbouring states: