February 22, 2011

Mugabe's crackdown on Al Jazeera and BBC

Original caption: President of Zimbabwe Robert...Image via Wikipedia
In a preemptive move to prevent a democratic uprising in Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe has cracked down on those watching the BBC or Al Jazeera. The mere act of watching such videos might land someone in prison for 20 years.

Please consider Arrests in Zimbabwe for Seeing Videos
Dozens of students, trade unionists and political activists who gathered to watch Al Jazeera and BBC news reports on the uprisings that brought down autocrats in Tunisia and Egypt have been arrested on suspicion of plotting to oust President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.

James Sabau, a spokesman for the police force, which is part of the security services controlled by Mr. Mugabe’s party, was quoted in Monday’s state-controlled newspaper as saying that the 46 people in custody were accused of participating in an illegal political meeting where they watched videos “as a way of motivating them to subvert a constitutionally elected government.”

The evidence seized by the police included a video projector, two DVD discs and a laptop.

Lawyers for the men and women in custody said they had not yet been formally charged but had been advised that they might be accused of “attempting to overthrow the government by unconstitutional means,” a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
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