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Journalist flees country following death threat

(MISA/IFEX) - Senior freelance journalist Stanley Kwenda has been reported to have fled the country after a senior police officer allegedly issued a death threat against him in a telephone call.

Kwenda fled the country over the weekend after he received a call on his cell phone on 15 January 2010, allegedly from the police officer. The officer apparently told him he would not survive the weekend. The threat is reportedly linked to a story published in "The Zimbabwean" newspaper.

Kwenda, who is a member of MISA-Zimbabwe's Harare Advocacy Committee, is the director of the Artists for Democracy Zimbabwe Trust (ADZT).

MISA-Zimbabwe condemns this development as yet another serious threat to media freedom and the right of journalists to conduct their lawful professional duties without fear or hindrance from any quarters.

MISA-Zimbabwe urges the inclusive government and the Police Commissioner General to unequivocally guarantee the safety of journalists and to ensure Kwenda's security pending full investigations into the alleged threats.

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