Saturday, April 26, 2008

Jailed in Zimbabwe: A Reporter’s Ordeal

Associated Press
Election posters in Zimbabwe on April 3, the day Barry Bearak was arrested.

New York Times

I had never been arrested before and the prospect of prison in Zimbabwe, one of the poorest, most repressive places on earth, seemed especially forbidding: the squalor, the teeming cells, the possibility of beatings. But I told myself what I’d repeatedly taught my two children: Life is a collection of experiences. You savor the good, you learn from the bad.

I was being charged with the crime of “committing journalism.” One of my captors, Detective Inspector Dani Rangwani, described the offense to me as something despicable, almost hissing the words: “You’ve been gathering, processing and disseminating the news.”

And I’d been caught at it red-handed, my notes spread across my desk, my text messages readable on my cellphone, my stories preserved by Microsoft Word in an open laptop. [Click for MORE]

Barry Bearak on His Imprisonment in Zimbabwe (mp3)

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