Tuesday, January 18, 2022

NY Times Freelancer on Trial in Zimbabwe in Immigration Case

a freelance journalist for the new York Times On Wednesday, a trial took place in Zimbabwe, which was accused of helping two newspaper journalists enter the country illegally. Critics say the allegations are another example of the government’s attempts to control the media.

At the start of Jeffrey Moyo’s trial on Wednesday, Zimbabwean lawyers for human rights lawyer Doug Coltert expressed optimism that his client will not be found guilty.

Coltart spoke to VOA from the city of Bulawayo, where the trial is taking place.

“The state has now called around three witnesses. The case against Jeff is weak and we are not saying that. The state itself has said in the bail petition filed before the High Court that the state’s case is very unstable. The evidence against Jeff is incredibly weak. There is essentially no evidence of any wrongdoing. We will see how the court proceedings go on.”

Moyo was arrested last year along with Thabang Manhika, an official with the Zimbabwe Media Commission, for allegedly processing fake accreditations for two South Africa-based men. new York Times Journalists who entered Zimbabwe and were later deported. Moyo and Manhika are being tried separately.

The Zimbabwean government has dismissed allegations that it violates the rights and freedoms of the media. It said that Moyo and Manahika broke immigration laws.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists is urging prosecutors to drop charges against Moyo. Its Africa program coordinator Angela Quintal said on Twitter this week that failure to do so would “reinforce perceptions that prosecutors are acting in bad faith” and used Moyo as an example to censor and intimidate the Zimbabwean press. To use.

Tabani Moyo, Director of the Media Institute for Southern Africa, is seen in Harare on June 16, 2021. (Columbus Mavunga/VOA)

Tabani Moyo of the South African Media Institute – who has no affiliation with Jeffrey Moyo – has criticized the arrests of Moyo and Manika.

“There should be a fair trial and the fairness of our justice system,” Moyo said.

the new York Times Executive editor Dean Baquet is quoted as saying, “We are deeply disturbed by the prosecution of Jeffrey Moyo, which appears to be designed to stifle press freedom in Zimbabwe. A widely respected journalist with experience.”

Earlier this week, Zimbabwe’s Chief Justice Luke Malaba told reporters that all cases brought before the courts would be treated fairly.

“Efficiency entails performance at the highest level using available resources. It is a legal requirement that is imposed on the courts. Article 164 of the Constitution mandates the courts to be independent and impartial, without fear, favor or prejudice. The law of the state needs to be implemented expeditiously,” Malaba said.

Manhika’s trial is expected to begin on Friday. Manhika and Moyo could face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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