UN human rights expert extremely concerned over media bill passed in Zimbabwe
"The provisions infringe on the right to freedom of opinion and expression as guaranteed in article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," Abid Hussain, the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, said in a communication to the Government of Zimbabwe on 1 February.
He appealed to the Government to reconsider the provisions of the Access to Information and Privacy Bill and not to proceed to pass them into law. The law would require journalists to be accredited by a government-appointed Media and Information Centre, and would ban foreign correspondents from living in Zimbabwe. Correspondents would only be allowed to visit the country for limited periods and subject to accreditation.
In his letter to the Zimbabwe Government, the Special Rapporteur emphasised that "the provisions of this Bill will give rise to excessive government control over the media."