Thursday, July 21, 2011

Malawi press arrested for covering unrest and held without charge

Malawi cracks down on media covering protests
New York, July 21, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns sweeping arrests and attacks on journalists, as well as censorship by the administration of Malawi President Bingu Wa Muthiraka against media outlets reporting on nationwide antigovernment protests that erupted on Wednesday.

In response to the unrest, today the state-run Malawi Communications Regulations Authority (MACRA) switched off the signals private broadcasters Joy Radio, Capital Radio, and MIJ FM, for about four hours, Joy lawyer Ralph Kasambara told CPJ.

Police arrested a contributor to Nyasa Times, a U.K.-based online news site critical of the government, journalist Collins Mtika, today as he covered protests in the northern city of Mzuzu, according to local journalists. Mtika remains held without charge on anti-government accusations. Vitima Ndovi, a freelance journalist in the capital, Lilongwe, was also arrested today and remains in custody. Police assaulted and briefly detained reporter Kingsely Jassi of private media group Blantyre Newspaper Limited after he took photos of officers beating a man, according to Independent Nation reporter Kondwani Munthali.

D[emocratic] P[rogressive]P[arty] Youths Turn Violent

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