Zimbabwe Newspaper Sued after Reporting from WikiLeaks

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The Daily News has been sued over its reports from WikiLeaks. (Credit: The Daily News, screenshot)

Zimbabwe newspaper The Daily News has been sued for $100,000 for defamation, Editors Weblog reported.

In question are two articles the newspaper “based on information contained in the most recently released batch of WikiLeaks diplomatic cables.”  According to the cables, Jonathan Moyo is revealed as having “supported sanctions against President Mugabe, and even suggesting that specific party member should be targeted with sanctions,” EditorsWeblog explained.

Moyo is the country’s former information minister, according to the Guardian.

The reports were Sept. 6’s “Moyo’s plans to oust Mugabe” and Sept. 7’s “Moyo advised US on Zanu-PF Sanctions list,” according to Reporters without Borders.

However, Moyo, described as “a staunch public defender of Mugabe” alleges the Daily News’ report from the cables “make him appear hypocritical.”

According to the Guardian’s Roy Greenslade, the newspaper has defended its report.

Media freedom advocacy group Reporters without Borders issued a statement “condemning” the lawsuit.

According to Reporters without Borders, which stopped hosting a mirror website for WikiLeaks after WikiLeaks published all its cables unredacted:

The Daily News just reported, and commented on, reliable information that is now accessible to everyone through WikiLeaks. Its reporters did a serious piece of investigative journalism based on information that is clearly embarrassing but is now out in the open.”

Reporters without Borders added that Moyo “has not denied the comments attributed to him in the cables released by WikiLeaks.”  Moyo claims that the Daily News reported the comments in a  “wrongful, unlawful, false, scandalous and defamatory” way.

The Herald, which states it is “published by the government of Zimbabwe,” reported that Moyo filed his lawsuit against the Daily News, reporter Thelma Chikwanha and publisher Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe Sept. 12.  According to the Herald, the lawsuit claims that “some of the information published…was never quoted from the said documents.”

iMediaEthics wrote in December when Zimbabwe’s First Lady Grace Mugabe filed a libel lawsuit against the newspaper the Standard for reporting from a WikiLeaks cable that claimed she and others were making money off blood diamonds extracted from a mine in Zimbabwe.

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Zimbabwe Newspaper Sued after Reporting from WikiLeaks

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