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Police assault photographer

(MISA/IFEX) - On 18 June 2009, Regis Nyandima, a chief photographer with the state-controlled national daily "The Herald" was assaulted by police in Harare while covering a demonstration by members of the pressure group Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA).

Nyandima was arrested by some of the policemen who disrupted the demonstration, saying it was illegal. He was forced into a police truck and subsequently assaulted. According to "The Herald," a senior officer at Harare Central Police Station apologised to the newspaper for the assault and said they would look into the issue.

Several of the women members of WOZA were also arrested for staging an illegal demonstration.

MISA-Zimbabwe condemns the police's heavy-handedness in dealing with journalists conducting their lawful professional duties and urges the Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri to investigate Nyandima's assault and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Parties to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) which gave birth to Zimbabwe's inclusive government should take serious note of this abuse of power by the police and take the necessary disciplinary action against the offenders with the aim of cleansing the police force of any rogue elements within its ranks.

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