Authoritarian governments regularly attack the media – blaming the messenger for their own governance failings. The increasingly repressive administration of Bingu wa Mutharika in Malawi is no different. Having long publicly criticised the media and passed an odious law that allows the minister of information to close down any media house that is not reporting ‘in the national interest’, the authorities went further during the demonstrations last week and actively targeted reporters – harassing, beating and detaining journalists from a host of private media organisations.

The Malawi chapter of the Media Institute of southern Africa has compiled this shocking list:

BLANTYRE NEWSPAPERS LIMITED

Jacob Nankhonya – beaten

Kingsley Jasi – badly beaten, arrested and later released without charge

Leornard Shara – beaten

CAPITAL RADIO

Isaac Kambwiri – badly beaten

FREELANCERS

Chancy Namadzunda – beaten

Collins Mtika – beaten and arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer.

Elijah Phimbi – beaten for no cause

George Thawe – beaten

Vitima Ndovi – beaten, arrested and charged with arson

GUARDIAN PUBLICATIONS LIMITED

Emmanuel Simpokolwe – harassed and beaten

Promise Kamanga – harassed

JOY RADIO

Enock Balakasi – beaten

George Mkandawire – beaten

Rebecca Chimjeka – beaten

MIJ FM

Anthony Masamba – beaten

Yvonnie Sundu – beaten

NATION PUBLICATIONS LIMITED

Amos Gumulira – badly beaten

Anthony Kasunda – harassed

Kondwani Munthali – beaten and camera confiscated

POWER 101 FM

Nathan Majawa – beaten

RADIO ISLAM

Angella Banda – beaten

STAR RADIO

Vincent Khonje – harassed

Wilson Henry – harassed

ZODIAK BROADCASTING STATION

Emmanuel Chibwana – harassed

Winston Mwale – harassed

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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