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Daily News Focus – What they said

Staff Writer

“The practical effect of this judgement is that had we been challenging the death penalty and not media laws, we would have had to hang first and challenge the penalty from

hell.” – ANZ lawyer Gugulethu Moyo responding to the Supreme Court’s ruling that “citizens are obliged to obey the law and argue afterward”.

“These actions are unwarranted infringements on press freedom and they are the latest incidents in a pattern of intimidation and violence directed against the local media.” – Adam Ereli, deputy spokesman for the US State Department.

“The outside world will see it for what it is – an attempt to stifle independent scrutiny and silence democratic voices in Zimbabwe. We will continue to support all those in Zimbabwe working for a return to a democratically-elected and accountable government which respects human rights and the rule of law.” – British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

“The forced closure of the Daily News is yet another clumsy assault by the government on free media in Zimbabwe. Clearly what bombs failed to achieve in 2000 the state has achieved by its closure of the Daily News.” – Independent Journalists Association of Zimbabwe.

“It is regrettable that the ambitious thrust by the Minister of Information and Publicity to enact, by any means, unconstitutional legislation designed to arrest expression, has now been given judicial approval by a court entrusted with the protection of fundamental freedoms and universally recognised human rights to ensure justice and freedom in Zimbabwe.

Repression may therefore have sadly found itself an ally against human rights defenders, in the form of the judiciary.” – Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

“This is a crude attempt to silence an inconvenient voice. No amount of heavy-handed repression by a desperately insecure government will disguise the trail of criminal misrule which the Daily News, together with other independent papers, has done so much to expose.” – Zimbabwe National Editors Forum.

“The closure (of the Daily News) robs the country of one of the few alternative voices in an increasingly restricted space where Zimbabweans can freely express themselves.” – Misa.

“It is a major attack on the freedom of the press.” – Commonwealth spokesman.

“There is freedom of the press here, but there is no freedom to act as an outlaw. We registered almost all the other private newspapers which applied, but these people chose to play to the gallery, and now want to cry foul because the law has caught up with them.” – Media and Information Commission boss Tafataona Mahoso.

“The Crisis Coalition is stunned by the irregularity with which this case has been handled, and the perverted sense of justice demonstrated by the Supreme Court in this instance.” – Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition.

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