Statement by Heal Zimbabwe on World Press Freedom Day

Heal Zimbabwe joins the rest of the world in commemorating World Press Freedom Day. This year’s theme “Journalism Under Siege” highlights the myriad ways in which surveillance and digitally mediated attacks put journalists at risk.

World Press Freedom Day recognizes the sacrifices journalists make to ensure they report the news without fear or favour. This year’s commemorations take place at a time when the world is still reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and when journalists around the world are under an obligation to ensure the free flow of accurate and to tell stories without fear or favour. This demonstrates that the media is an important organ of any democratic society. It is the backbone of any democratic society as it makes citizens vigilant about many social, political and economic activities. Even in times of disaster, the media have continued to play their role of informing, entertaining and educating citizens on key issues. Heal Zimbabwe recognizes the important role played by the media in building peace and social cohesion. During past episodes of violence in Zimbabwe such as Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina and the 2008 violence, the media played the vital role of informing the world about the violence.

On World Press Freedom Day, Heal Zimbabwe implores the government to ensure that journalists are always protected from all forms of victimization and allowed to perform their duties freely. In addition, the government should operationalize an independent complaints mechanism that will receive and investigate complaints from citizens regarding misconduct by members of the security services in violation of fundamental human rights of journalists or citizens.

Source: Cure Zimbabwe

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