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Journalist assaulted by unknown individuals in Mutare

(MISA/IFEX) - Freelance journalist Sydney Saize sustained a swollen lip after he was assaulted by unknown assailants in the eastern border town of Mutare on 16 May 2008 who accused him of being a sell-out.

Saize told MISA-Zimbabwe that the incident occurred around 8.30 p.m. (local time) when he was on his way home. He said he initially did not suspect anything when four men who were travelling in a Nissan double-cab vehicle pulled over and offered him what was supposed to have been an innocent lift home.

Saize jumped into the back of the canopied double-cab. The vehicle, however, stopped some short distance later. "The four men then proceeded to assault me with booted feet and fists and accused me of 'selling' the country. I only noticed that the vehicle, a Nissan double cab, was unmarked as it drove away after they had assaulted and dumped me by the roadside," he said.

This comes hard on the heels of the assault of Mathew Takaona, the president of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists. Takaona was assaulted together with his brother by assailants in military fatigues at a shopping complex in Harare's dormitory town of Chitungwiza.

MISA-Zimbabwe unreservedly condemns these wanton attacks on journalists at a time when the country is witnessing unprecedented politically motivated violence in the aftermath of the 29 March elections and the interim period to the presidential election run-off set for 27 June.

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