The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter has condemned assault of four journalists by the Malawi Police Service in the capital Lilongwe.

The four Journalists namely Julius Caleone of YONECO FM, Hebert Katanda of Luntha Television, Malumbo Ngwira of MIJ FM and Emma Zawanda of Timveni were assigned to cover the arrest of Human Right Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Timothy Mtambo.

According to information at hand, the journalists met their fate when they sought refuge within the Station premises when the law enforcers had fired tear gas to disperse people who were protesting outside the Station.

Some police officers were however not happy with the presence of the journalists at the Station and chased them from the premises.

The police officers insulted the journalists, pelted stones at them and even shoved Hebert Katanda with a gun.

The officers accused the media of being behind the protests in the country.

In a statement Misa Malawi Chairperson Teresa Ndanga described the police act as unfortunate.

“MISA Malawi finds it very unfortunate that police officers continue to be hostile to journalists on duty despite our several appeals for a reformed police service.

“As law enforcers, police officers ought to understand that the Republican Constitution guarantees media freedom and that the freedom applies at all times, including the time of protests or civil unrest,” said Ndanga.

She added: “We remind the MPS to discipline officers who abuse their law enforcement duties by assaulting and abusing journalists. The officers must stop treating journalists as criminals.”

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