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Thirteen members of group promoting freedom of expression detained

(MISA/IFEX) - On 8 June 2008, Binga Police, in Zimbabwe's Matabelel and North province, arrested and detained Abel Chikomo, Maureen Kademaunga and Abel Kaingidza who are employed by the Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ) and accused them of holding a public meeting without police clearance.

The three together with another 10 members of the MMPZ's Public Information Rights Forum (PIRF) who are in custody in Binga, are expected to appear in court on 11 June.

MMPZ Co-ordinator Andy Moyse confirmed their arrest together with that of the other 10 local members of the PIRF and said that the meeting in question was not a public meeting but a professional meeting which did not require notification or clearance with the police in terms of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

"They are expected in court today," he said.

Moyse said their lawyers only managed to access the detained MMPZ employees and its PIRF members on 10 June following the intervention of police officers from Hwange Police's law and order section.

The MMPZ is an independent Trust that promotes freedom of expression and responsible journalism in Zimbabwe. It does this through monitoring and analysis of news and current affairs produced by both the print and electronic media and its findings are made public through publication of weekly media updates.

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