EU bemoans incarceration of Zimbabwean journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono
The European Union (EU) has expressed concern over the continued detention of Zimbabwean investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono.
Chin’ono will spend the rest of the weekend in the country’s biggest jail, the Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.
Chin’ono appeared before Harare regional magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa being charged with allegations of tweeting that he had spoken with some members of the National Prosecuting Authority who told him that Henrietta Rushwaya was going to be granted bail.
Rushwaya was arrested on the 25th of October after being caught with 6.09kgs of gold she allegedly wanted to smuggle to Dubai.
But the EU government in a statement bemoaned the arrest of the investigative journalist who exposes corruption.
“Hopewell Chin’ono’s detention sends a chilling signal on freedom of opinion and expression in #Zimbabwe. Exposing #corruption is not a crime – the fight against corruption is a declared Government priority. @daddyhope,” The EU said in a statement.
The magistrate on Friday, after rejecting a CCTV footage meant to confirm that Chin’ono was unconstitutionally brought to Rotten Row Magistrate Court after 48hours, ruled that the investigative journalist’s presence before her on Thursday was within the confines of time.
This is despite the fact that an investigating officer in Chin’ono’s case had confirmed that he was over detained.
Chin’ono’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said told the court that her client had not committed a crime given that he was a journalist and had the right not to disclose his sources.
Three legal minds, the prosecutors representing the state however requested that the matter be rolled to Monday.
Gofa granted the State’s request and said she will appear before her in Court 20 at 2:15pm.
Addressing the media at Rotten Row Magistrate soon after the court proceedings, Mtetwa said Chin’ono was a victim of State’s intention to silence the dissent.
Chin’ono is currently on bail after he was arrested in connection with 31st July protests against corruption. He is being charged with inciting violence.