Zimbabwe to Trial New York Times Freelance Reporter | Media News

Last year, Jeffrey Moyo spent three weeks in jail on charges of obtaining false authentication documents.

A freelance journalist working for The New York Times will appear in a Zimbabwean court on Wednesday, his lawyers and the paper said, in a case that critics say speaks volumes about President Emerson Mnangagwa’s government. Authoritarian nature.

Thirty-seven-year-old Jeffrey Moyo three weeks in jail He was charged last year with obtaining false authentication documents for two journalists visiting U.S. newspapers.

The New York Times said the allegations were baseless, and an official from the Zimbabwe Media Council sent him the documents of Christina Goldbaum and Joao Silva. They were fired.

“We are deeply disturbed by the indictment of Jeffrey Moyo, which appears to be aimed at undermining press freedom in Zimbabwe. Jeffrey is a widely respected journalist with many years of reporting experience in Zimbabwe,” Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, said. said in a statement, The Times reported.

“It was a bad experience, sleeping on a concrete floor and having no contact with family,” Moyo told Reuters.

“It sucks, but I’m optimistic that things will work out.”

Officials could not immediately comment because the trial will take place at a court in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city. But last year, a spokesman accused Moyo of paying bribes to violate immigration laws.

Mnangagwa’s government, which replaced long-serving leader Robert Mugabe in a coup in 2017, has strained relations with non-state media. Another well-known journalist, Hopewell ChinonoCritics of the government were arrested three times.

Moyo’s attorney, Doug Coltart, told Reuters the state has a “very weak case” against his client.

“Jeffrey thought he was dealing with a real official from the Zimbabwe Media Council,” Coltat said.

Moyo has also worked for the Thomson Reuters Foundation charity.

Reporters Without Borders ranked Zimbabwe 130th out of 180 countries in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index.