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Reuters photographer detained in Zimbabwe PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 09 May 2008

REUTERS, JOHANNESBURG - A Reuters photographer covering the aftermath of Zimbabwe's elections has been detained for three days for allegedly using a satellite phone to transmit pictures, the global news and information company said on Thursday.

Reuters called for the immediate release of Howard Burditt, a Zimbabwean national, who has been held by police in Harare since Monday. He has not been charged.

"As part of its pan-African news operations, Reuters has long had a legitimate and fully accredited bureau in Harare, and has always complied with Zimbabwean regulations with the aim of accurately reporting the news," a company statement said.

David Schlesinger, Reuters Editor-in-Chief, called upon the Zimbabwean authorities to release Burditt immediately.

Zimbabwean authorities say it is illegal to use a satellite phone unless it has been registered.

Tension has risen in Zimbabwe since elections on March 29.

Official results showed the ruling ZANU-PF party lost its majority in parliament for the first time since independence in 1980.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai beat President Robert Mugabe in a parallel presidential vote, but not by the outright majority needed to avoid a run-off. Tsvangirai says the outcome was rigged and has yet to say if he would contest a run-off.

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