BW jointly condemn intimidation and harassment of journalists by security agents

Journalists at work PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Journalists at work PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO

Last week, on Wednesday July 17, Mmegi Journalist on the investigative and Political Desk, Tsaone Basimanebotlhe who is also a graduate of the Women in News (WIN) under World Association Of Newspapers and News Publishers Forum (WANIFRA) became a target of security agents’ harassment and intimidation.

The Botswana Editors Forum (EFB) and The Freedom of Expression Committee  (FEC) have learnt with grave concern that Ms. Basimanebotlhe was raided by Directorate of Security Services  (DIS) agents and Police officers at her house and treated like a criminal with her neighbors called in to act as witnesses in a search, which ended with the confiscation of her phone.

The EFB and The FEC would like to express great disappointment on the harassment of Ms. Basimanebotlhe by security agents and also condemn the act strongly.

Harassing and intimidation of journalists for merely doing their job was routine in the last administration.

It would seem like it continues under the current one.

The EFB and The FEC would like to point out that such cases of harassment and intimidation negatively impacts on freedom of the media and freedom of expression, which are enshrined in our constitution.

Such actions cause Journalists to be afraid to report news freely without fear and favor as per the dictates of journalism ethics. 

Botswana Editors Forum and The Freedom of Expression Committee therefore urge security agents to stop intimidating and harassing journalists and confiscating their devices to try and find out the journalists’ sources.

Issued in Gaborone on July 24th

Botswana Editors' Forum Chairman:  Spencer Mogapi

Freedom Of Expression Committee Chair: Emang Bokhutlo

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