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Riot Police Arrest, Assault Freelance Journalist

A local freelance journalist Anyway Yotamu was Thursday morning arrested by riot police while taking pictures of an altercation between City Parking attendants and vendors near opposition MDC-T party headquarters in Harare.

Yotamu, who was severely assaulted and visibly injured had come out of Morgan Tsvangirai House where MDC-T party leader Douglas Mwonzora was addressing the press on the Pomona waste-to-energy deal, when he proceeded to film the scuffle that was going on along Nelson Mandela Avenue.

The police forced him to delete images in his camera before they started assaulting him with button sticks.

He suffered a knee injury and is currently detained at Harare Central Police Station.

In a statement, Young Journalists Association (YOJA) condemned the development and urged ZRP to urgently release the journalist.

“It is with great concern that young journalist Anyway Yotamu has been beaten and arrested by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) anti-riot officers, outside MDC-T’s MRT headquarters, Harare.

“We call upon the police to release Yotamu unconditionally and allow him to seek medical assistance as soon as possible,” reads the YOJA statement.

Countless journalists in Zimbabwe have been assaulted and arrested in course of their duty despite displaying their Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) accreditation cards.

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