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Last Updated: Friday, 9 January, 2004, 14:53 GMT
Police 'must quit' Zimbabwe paper
Daily News
Daily News has been a long-term critic of the government
A court in Harare has told police not to prevent Zimbabwe's only privately-owned daily newspaper from publishing, and to stop occupying its offices.

The Daily News, a critic of President Robert Mugabe, was Zimbabwe's best-selling paper until it was shut down in September 2003.

Last month a court ruled it could start publishing again, but within hours armed police occupied its offices.

A spokesman for the newspaper said it could now resume publication.

DAILY NEWS TIMELINE OF WOE
1999: Launched
2000-2001: Editors, journalists arrested several times
Jan 2001: Printing press bombed
2002: New media law passed
July 2003: Appeals against media law
Sep 2003: Closed
24 Oct 2003: Court rules it should be licensed
25 October: Back on the streets, closed again
19 Dec 2003: Court ruling upheld, police occupy building
9 Jan 2004: Court orders police out

"We are waiting to see if the police, who were present at the hearing, will respect the ruling and order their officers off our property," the spokesman added.

Since opening in 1999, the Daily News has seen its editors arrested on several occasions and its printing press was bombed in January 2001.

The Daily News was shut down by police last September under tough media laws passed after Mr Mugabe's controversial re-election in 2002.

But a Bulawayo administrative court upheld a previous ruling that a government-appointed commission should have awarded the newspaper a licence.

The government controls Zimbabwe's two other daily newspapers and all television and radio stations.




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