Union to give financial support to Daily News

Embattled Zimbabwean newspaper The Daily News is to be given “tangible financial and practical support” by the NUJ.

The newspaper seen as the country’s last free and independent media voice and is fighting a lengthy legal battle to get back on the streets after being forced to stop publishing by Robert Mugabe’s regime.

Speaking in favour of the motion was Rowan Dore, from Brighton’s Argus, who said: “In Sussex there is a lot of interest in what’s happening in Zimbabwe. Several members have links with Zimbabwe and the notorious Nicholas Hoogstraten not only seems to want to control one third of all hotels in Brighton and Hove and half the rented accommodation – he wants to own half of Zimbabwe as well through his links with Robert Mugabe.

“Our paper has won awards for exposing the activities of Hoogstraten, but colleagues in Zimbabwe just can’t do the same.”

BBC Scotland broadcaster Peter Murray said: “I worked in Zimbabwe in the Eighties and can see the difference between the free press and democratic movement then and the struggle people are having to face now. The Daily News has been subject to fire bombings and reporters have been physically assaulted.”

The conference condemned the arrest and detention by the Spanish authorities last October of journalist Tayseer Alouni of Al-Jazeera.

It also passed a motion supporting whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, who was jailed in 1986 for passing details of Israel’s secret nuclear programme to The Sunday Times.

Vanunu was made an honorary member of the NUJ and the motion urged Israel to proceed with his planned release from prison on 21 April and grant him the freedom to travel.

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