CJFE Concerned by Threats Made to Toronto Journalist



    TORONTO, Jan. 11 /CNW/ - CJFE is concerned by reports that Toronto-based
journalist Innocent Madawo has received threatening phone calls. Earlier this
week, Madawo had written an article on the subject of the political situation
in Zimbabwe as it approaches elections in March.
    Madawo's opinion piece was sent out by email on January 7, 2008, to
journalistic colleagues and was published on the website of the London-based
Zimbabwean independent radio station, SWRadio Africa
(http://www.swradioafrica.com/pages/zimexile080108.htm). It resulted in a
phone call the next day with the warning "Mr. Madawo, you must be careful
about what you write. Uchakuvarira zvinhu vausingazivi. (You will be hurt for
things you don't know). Uzalimala (you will be hurt), you hear me!?" The phone
call, placed to Madawo's home phone, used all three official languages of
Zimbabwe (English, Ndebele and Shona).
    Toronto police have been informed about the threats, and are said to be
taking them seriously and are attempting to trace the call.
    "I am not taking this lightly," stated Madawo, considering "the killing
and torture of colleagues in Zimbabwe, the near fatal shooting of ZimOnline
editor, Abel Mutsakani in Johannesburg last year and the circulation of lists
of marked Zimbabwean journalists."
    Madawo writes for several Canadian newspapers and is the publisher of The
Southern African.com. He lives in Toronto, Canada with his family, but is
originally from Zimbabwe.
    CJFE takes this matter very seriously and urges police to be vigilant in
offering Innocent Madawo any protection at their disposal. We hope that Canada
offers all citizens the ability to exercise their right to free expression in
safety.

    Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) is an association of more
than 300 journalists, editors, publishers, producers, students and others who
work to promote and defend free expression and press freedom in Canada and
around the world.





For further information:

For further information: President Arnold Amber at (416) 399-2632


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