Malawi police on Wednesday detained three journalists at Kamuzu International Airport in the capital Lilongwe, accusing them of acting in a disorderly manner.
According to Malawi24, the trio were charged with “acts prohibited on aerodrome, behaving in a disorderly manner” but were later released.
Golden Matonga of Nation Publications, as well as Steve Zimba and Francis Chamasowa of Zodiak Broadcasting Station were arrested at the airport where they had gone to cover the arrival of a European Union election observer team.
Malawi24 said the observer team wanted to unveil its controversial final report on last May’s tripartite elections but changed its decision after criticism from politicians and other stakeholders.
The Malawian chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) said it was concerned that authorities continued to treat journalism as a crime, accusing some police officers of displaying animosity towards reporters.
“We would like to reiterate our appeal to the police that they should make more efforts towards working as a service and forming a better working relationship with journalists,” it said in a statement.
“MISA Malawi will engage the Malawi Police Service leadership to discuss these concerns and agree on concrete steps of improving the working relationship between our two sides.” African News Agency (ANA)