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Zimbabwe Troops Raid Hotel, Arrest Pulitzer Winner

April 03, 2008 05:22 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Government forces surrounded and entered a hotel in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, where foreign correspondents were covering the nation’s elections.

30-Second Summary

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A man answering the phone at the York Lodge confirmed that riot police encircled the premises, according to the Associated Press. The BBC reports that about 30 police officers entered the hotel to seize four or five journalists.

Bill Keller, the executive editor of The New York Times, confirmed that one of the captured reporters was Pulitzer Prize-winner Barry Bearak.

“An American consular official who visited him at the central police station reported that he was being held for 'violation of the journalism laws,” Keller told the Associated Press.

A hotel that was home to the offices of the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, was also raided the same day. MDC Secretary-General Tendai Biti said, “There’s a definite crackdown … it is quite clear he has unleashed a war.”

Foreign correspondents have not officially been given permission to cover Zimbabwe’s presidential election. Incumbent President Robert Mugabe’s party Zanu-PF has already lost the parliamentary election to the MDC, whose presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai is reportedly ahead in the vote.

The government is yet to release official results for the presidential election, and Thursday's developments suggest that Mugabe may resort to violence to hold on to power.

Headline Link: ‘Riot Police Surround Zimbabwe Hotel’

Video & Audio: ‘Police Surround Zimbabwe Hotel’

Background: ‘Opposition Party in Zimbabwe Says it Won Election’

Reactions: ‘Raids target Zimbabwe opposition party’

Opinion & Analysis: ‘Mugabe Meltdown in Zimbabwe’

Reference: Independent election results

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