Journalists and photojournalists from several private media were harassed and maltreated by security agents at Botswana’s capital airport on, 18 April. The IFJ joins its affiliate the Botswana Media and Allied Workers Union (BOMAWU) in condemning the highhandedness meted out to the journalists by the security forces.
The journalists went to Khama International Airport in Gaborone, Botwana’s capital, on Wednesday, 18 April to report on the arrival of the National athletics team that had gone to Australia to represent the country in the Commonwealth Games.
They were pushed away by the security forces and told that they had received strict orders that only state media should be allowed in.
BOMAWU, an IFJ affiliate, deplored in a statement the heavy-handedness of the security forces and indicateed that they violate the very foundation of a free media.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) stands by its affiliate BOMAWU and calls on the Botswana government to guarantee the safety and security of all journalists.
IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger said: “ We see no reason why part of the press should be prevented from reporting on matters that are in the public interest. Both public and private media play a very important role in informing citizens and should thus be allowed to carry out their duties without any form of interference by the state or its security agents”.