A Zimbabwean journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono; was violently detained at his home in the capital Harare by state agents Monday.
His lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa was cited by local media outlets as confirming the early morning raid that led to his arrest. The officers reportedly smashed a glass door before picking him up.
He ‘d tweeted in the morning that his workers were being harassed by security agents. “They break into my house. Warn the world! “At midday July 20 read his last tweet.
Hopewell is a powerful voice to point out corruption and excesses of government. Police have yet to confirm that they’ve charged him and precisely on what grounds.
The arrest has triggered a torrent of demands for his release from the diplomatic community, human and press rights groups and Zimbabweans.
“It is important to encourage journalists to do their job in fighting corruption. Hopewell’s detention today is part of a disturbing trend toward Zimbabwean freedom of speech, “the Dutch Embassy posted on Twitter.
The US embassy said it was “deeply concerned” with the journalist’s welfare adding that investigative journalists’ work remained crucial in the fight against corruption. “Political press bullying is out of place in democracies,” they said.
Elsewhere, a group of lawyers MISA Zimbabwe reported that Chin’ono and an activist Jacob Ngarivhume were at the Harare Central Police Station adding that they had not been arrested.
The activist who is also the leader of the Transform Zimbabwe movement recently announced protests slated for July 31 against poor governance.