US embassy cable - 01HARARE944

MEDIA UPDATE: CNN CREW PREVENTED FROM FILMING NEAR SUPREME COURT IN HARARE

Identifier: 01HARARE944
Wikileaks: View 01HARARE944 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2001-03-08 09:16:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PHUM PGOV KPAO KDEM PINR ZI
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


 

                           UNCLASSIFIED     PTO9551

PAGE 01        HARARE  00944  080918Z 
ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   AMAD-00  ACQ-00   CIAE-00  SMEC-00  
      USNW-00  DINT-00  DODE-00  DOEE-00  DOTE-00  SRPP-00  DS-00    
      EB-00    EUR-00   FAAE-00  FBIE-00  UTED-00  VC-00    H-01     
      TEDE-00  INR-00   IO-00    LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01    
      NSAE-00  OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01  PA-00    PM-00    PRS-00   
      ACE-00   P-00     SP-00    STR-00   TEST-00  TRSE-00  USIE-00  
      PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00  SAS-00   
        /010W
                  ------------------CF1182  080918Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8374
INFO NSC WASHDC
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
UNCLAS HARARE 000944 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR AF, AF/S, AF/PD 
 
LONDON FOR CHARLES GURNEY 
 
PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS 
 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        HARARE  00944  080918Z 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PHUM, PGOV, KPAO, KDEM, PINR, ZI 
SUBJECT: MEDIA UPDATE: CNN CREW PREVENTED FROM FILMING NEAR 
SUPREME COURT IN HARARE 
 
1.  POLICE OFFICERS, ARMY PERSONEL, AND AN UNIDENTIFIED 
    CIVILIAN PREVENTED AMCIT BOB COEN, THE CNN STRINGER IN 
    ZIMBABWE, FROM FILMING NEAR THE SUPREME COURT ON MARCH 
    7.  COEN, WHO HAS LIVED IN ZIMBABWE AND WORKED OFF AND 
    ON FOR CNN FOR NEARLY 10 YEARS, WAS ATTEMPTING TO TAPE 
    A STAND-UP PIECE IN FRONT OF THE SUPREME COURT 
    BUILDING. 
 
2.  ALTHOUGH COEN AND HIS CREW FILMED IN PRECISELY THE SAME 
    LOCATION SEVERAL TIMES DURING THE WEEK OF FEB 26, TODAY 
    THE RULES CHANGED.  FIRST A POLICE OFFICER TOLD COEN HE 
    HAD TO LEAVE.  WHEN COEN PROTESTED, AN ARMY OFFICER 
    TOLD HIM HE HAD TO MOVE AWAY FROM THE COURT AND TOWARD 
    THE PARLIAMENT.  COEN ENGAGED BOTH IN A CONVERSATION, 
    TRYING TO PERSUADE THEM THAT HE HAD FILMED IN THE SAME 
    LOCATION AS RECENTLY AS LAST WEEK.  THEN, AN 
    UNIDENTIFIED MAN IN CIVILIAN CLOTHING EMERGED FROM THE 
    PARLIAMENT BUILING, PHYSICALLY PUSHED COEN AND WARNED 
    HIM THAT HE WOULD SMASH COEN'S CAMERA UNLESS HE LEFT 
    IMMEDIATELY.  WITHIN SECONDS OF THIS ENCOUNTER, MEMBER 
    OF PARLIAMENT AND LEADER OF THE ZIMBABWE LIBERATION WAR 
    VETERANS ASSOCIATION CHENJERAI "HITLER" HUNZVI EMERGED 
    FROM THE PARLIAMENT BUILDING.  COEN DECIDED TO DEPART 
    THE SCENE. 
 
3.  COEN CALLED THE MINISTRY OF INFORMATION TO PROTEST THIS 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        HARARE  00944  080918Z 
    TREATMENT (HE IS A LEGAL RESIDENT OF ZIMBABWE AND HAS 
    THE THUS-FAR APPROPRIATE MEDIA CREDENTIALS), BUT WAS 
    TOLD THAT THE AREA AROUND THE PARLIAMENT AND THE 
    SUPREME COURT IS NOW "RESTRICTED."  COEN WAS UNABLE TO 
    GET A CLEAR DEFINITION OF WHAT THAT MEANS, WHEN THE 
    AREA BECAME "RESTRICTED," OR HOW A JOURNALIST GAINS 
    PERMISSION TO WORK WITHIN THE AREA.  (NB: WITH THE 
    EXCEPTION OF A CLOSED PARKING LOT IMMEDIATELY WEST OF 
    THE PARLIAMENT AND THE SUPREME COURT, THE REST OF THE 
    AREA IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.  MAJOR THOROUGHFARES PASS 
    DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF BOTH BUILDINGS AND "AFRICA UNITY 
    SQUARE," A PLEASANT AND POPULAR PUBLIC AREA, IS 
    DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE PARLIAMENT.  IT 
    WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO "RESTRICT" THIS AREA WITHOUT 
    MAJOR DISRUPTION OF PUBLIC LIFE IN DOWNTOWN HARARE.) 
 
4.  COEN WAS NOT AT ALL HARMED, NOR WAS HIS EQUIPMENT 
    DAMAGED DURING THE ENCOUNTER.  HE TOLD EMBOFF THAT HE 
    WAS SIMPLY SADDENED BY THE EXPERIENCE AND ANGRY ABOUT 
    WHAT IS HAPPENING IN ZIMBABWE. 
IRVING 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
> 

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