The IFJ Condemns Abduction of Journalist in Zimbabwe

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply concerned for the safety of Jestina Mukoko, a Zimbabwean journalist and human rights advocate, who was kidnapped on Wednesday and has not been seen since. 

According to the Zimbabwe Journalists Union ( ZUJ), Jestina Mukoko was abducted on Wednesday at 5 am at her house in Norton just outside Harare. Mukoko, a veteran broadcaster, is the director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) which documented human rights abuses in the run up to the June presidential election run- off. Her whereabouts remain unknown after human rights lawyers failed to find her at any of the city's police stations..

"The abduction of Jestina is contrary to the spirit of the ongoing power sharing talks by the main political parties," said Foster Dongozi, Secretary General of the ZUJ, President of SAJA and vice President of FAJ. "We urge the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the African Union, the guarantors of the power sharing pact to urgently step in and address the issue of Jestina's disappearance." 

The IFJ condemns Jestina's kidnapping and joins the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists, the Southern Africa Journalists Association, SAJA and the Federation of African Journalists, FAJ, to demand her immediate release. 

"The Zimbabwean government is responsible for Jestina's safety. It must disclose information about her location and release her immediately," said Gabriel Baglo, director of the IFJ Africa office.

Edward Chikomba, a television cameraman was found dead on 31 March 2007 after being abducted in similar circumstances. Intelligence services were suspected of involvement in his disappearance.

For more information contact the IFJ at +32 2 235 2207

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide