Hopewell Chin'ono

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 3rd August 2020.

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Photo of Lord Oates Lord Oates Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Zimbabwe about the detention of journalist Hopewell Chin’ono. [T]

Photo of Baroness Sugg Baroness Sugg The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The UK is deeply worried by the arrest of Hopewell Chin'ono on 20 July, and by his continued detention. The Minister for Africa tweeted on 23 July to express his concern at the treatment of Mr Chin'ono and to urge the Zimbabwean authorities to uphold the right to freedom of expression, as guaranteed by Zimbabwe's constitution. The British Ambassador to Harare has sought a meeting with the Zimbabwean Foreign Minister, Sibusiso Moyo, to discuss our concerns, and officials at the British Embassy in Harare are closely following developments on his case. When the Minister for Africa spoke to the Zimbabwean Foreign Minister on 8 June, he urged him to ensure the Government of Zimbabwe makes concrete progress on human rights and respects the rule of law.

The UK is committed to the promotion of media freedom and the protection of journalists. Media freedom is an essential quality of any open society. People must be allowed to discuss and debate issues freely, to challenge their governments, and to make decisions informed by a strong and robust media. Zimbabwe is one of the UK's Media Freedom Focus Countries: we have called on the Government of Zimbabwe to commit to the Global Pledge on Media Freedom and to end the harassment of journalists, improve legislation and work with the international community to protect media freedom.

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