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US warned citizens against using cameras in Zimbabwe

The United States warned its citizens, shortly after the release of the presidential elections which did not provide an outright winner, to be particularly cautious when using still, video or telephone cameras in any urban setting in Zimbabwe, or in the vicinity of any political activity, as this could be construed by Zimbabwean authorities as practising journalism without accreditation, a crime punishable by arrest, incarceration or deportation.

This was contained in a travel alert issued by Washington due to ongoing political instability following the 29 March elections.

The alert said US citizens should defer non-essential travel to Zimbabwe because of increasing violence and intimidation in the run up t the presidential elections run-off.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08STATE51293, TRAVEL ALERT – ZIMBABWE

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08STATE51293

2008-05-14 17:15

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Secretary of State

VZCZCXRO4448

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TO ALL DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR POSTS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

RUEHFSI/DIR FSINFATC

RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC

RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC

RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA 6701

RUCPDOC/ALL USDOC DISTDIR COLLECTIVE WASHINGTON DC

RHMCSUU/CDRAMC FT BELVOIR VA//AMCMI-SS//

RUEAHQA/HQ USAF WASHINGTON DC//XOXXI//

RHMCSUU/HQ AFOSI DOQ ANDREWS AFB MD//IVOA//

RHMCSUU/FAA NATIONAL HQ WASHINGTON DC//ACI-400//

RHMCSUU/COMNAVAIRSYSCOM PATUXENT RIVER MD//AIR1031B//

RHMFIUU/NRC WASHINGTON DC//INFOSEC//

RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCJ2-JIT//

RUCPCIM/CIM NTDB WASHINGTON DC

RHMCSUU/COGARD INTELCOORDCEN WASHINGTON DC

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RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI IMMEDIATE 0430

INFO RUESBKC/ATO ASIA IMMEDIATE 1659

UNCLAS STATE 051293

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: CASC ASEC ZI

SUBJECT: TRAVEL ALERT – ZIMBABWE

 

 

1. This Travel Alert is being issued to update U.S.

citizens on safety and security concerns throughout

Zimbabwe due to ongoing political instability following the

March 29 national elections, and recommends deferral of

non-essential travel to Zimbabwe at this time. This

supersedes the Travel Alert for Zimbabwe dated April 11,

2008 and expires on July 1, 2008.

 

2. U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to

Zimbabwe. While the country prepares for a runoff of the

presidential elections between President Robert Mugabe and

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) candidate Morgan

Tsvangirai, Zimbabwean security forces, including some

military and police, as well as so-called war veterans, are

creating a climate of intimidation and fear across the

country, particularly in rural areas and high-density

suburbs. There have been attacks on opposition supporters,

renewed farm invasions, and arrests of election officials

accused of vote tampering. There is a continued risk of

arbitrary detention or arrest.

 

3. Americans should be particularly cautious when using

still, video or telephone cameras in any urban setting, or

in the vicinity of any political activity, as this could be

construed by Zimbabwean authorities as practicing

journalism without accreditation, a crime punishable by

arrest, incarceration and/or deportation.

 

4. American citizens traveling to or resident in Zimbabwe

should register with the U.S. Embassy by completing a

registration form online at

https://travelregistration.state.gov. Registration enables

the Embassy to contact American citizens in case of

emergency and provide updates on the security situation.

 

5. As the Department of State continues to develop

information on any potential security threats to U.S.

citizens overseas, it shares credible threat information

through its consular information program documents,

available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. In

addition to information on the Internet, travelers may

obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by

calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. or outside the

U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.

 

6. Minimize considered.

RICE

(9 VIEWS)

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