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Africa

Journalists win in media accreditation case

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-05

A Zimbabwe court has declared invalid media restrictions that prevented journalists not registered with the state-regulated media commission from working in the country.

AFP - A Zimbabwe court Friday declared invalid media restrictions that prevented journalists who are not registered with the state-regulated media commission from working in the country.

The ruling came after an application by four freelance reporters who were barred from covering the weekend trade bloc summit of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, held in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

"Applicants are hereby allowed, upon being registered with the COMESA summit secretariat, to cover the event without the need to produce an accreditation card from the media and information commission," said Judge Bharat Patel.

In 2002 President Robert Mugabe's government passed the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act that compels journalists and media organisations to register with a government-appointed media commission.

The court ruled that the commission ceased being a legal entity after it was amended to allow for the appointment of an independent commission.

In April, Mugabe's justice minister Patrick Chinamasa told the state-run Herald newspaper that the new government was looking at relaxing the stringent harsh media laws.

Date created : 2009-06-05

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