Nine press freedom and human rights organizations have appealed to South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa to help secure the immediate release of Zimbabwean investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono.
The organisations includes Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), South Africa National Editors Forum (SANEF), Southern African Editors Forum (SAEF), Civicus, Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI), SOS Support Public Broadcasting Coalition and Institute for the advancement of Journalism.
Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono has been charged with “incitement to participate in public violence” over anti-government demonstrations planned for July 31. “We the undersigned press freedom and human rights organisations call on you as Chair of the African Union and as the President of the Republic of South Africa to use all available mechanisms to help secure the immediate release of jailed Zimbabwean investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and to ensure that journalists across the continent are respected as essential workers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and are not jailed for their work,” reads the letter directed to Ramaphosa by MMA Director William Bird on behalf of other organisations.
Meanwhile, journalist Chin’ono has been denied bail, remanded in custody to August 7.