294/04 : Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (on behalf of Andrew Barclay Meldrum) / Zimbabwe Summary of Facts 1. The communication is submitted by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (the Complainants) on behalf of Mr Andrew Barclay Meldrum (the victim). It alleges that Mr Meldrum’s rights of freedom of expression and freedom to disseminate information were violated by the Republic of Zimbabwe (the Respondent). 2. It is stated by the Complainants that Mr Andrew Barclay Meldrum’s an American citizen was legally admitted into Zimbabwe in October 1980 and settled permanently until 2003 when he was deported. It is alleged that the Ministry of Home Affairs of Zimbabwe on 10 February 1980 issued Mr Meldrum with a permanent residence permit which allowed him to work as a journalist and since then he has been a foreign correspondent for the Mail and Guardian, a paper published in the United Kingdom. 3. The Complainants state that on 7 May 2002, Mr Meldrum published an article in the Daily News (an independent paper that has been closed by the Respondent State) on the internet version of the Mail and Guardian. As a result of the publication, the Complainants claim Mr Meldrum was charged with “publishing falsehood” under section 80 (1) (b) of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, (AIPPA). Mr Meldrum was found not guilty on 15 July 2002. The Complainants state that on 7 May 2003, the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe declared section 80 (1) (b) of the AIPPA unconstitutional in the case of Lloyd Zvakavpano Mudiwa v The State. 4. It is further alleged that immediately after his acquittal, Mr Meldrum was requested to report to the Immigrations Department Investigations Unit and was served with a deportation order issued in terms of section 14 (i)g of the Immigrations Act. Mr Meldrum appealed the deportation order within 24 hours to the Ministry of Home Affairs as required by the Immigrations Act. Meanwhile, an application challenging the deportation order was filed by his lawyers in the High Court. On 17 July 2002, the High Court ordered that Mr Meldrum should be allowed to stay in the country until the Supreme Court had dealt with all the constitutional matters raised in the matter. 5. The Complainants allege further that on 16 May 2003, Mr Meldrum was summoned to the Immigration Department where he was informed that he could no longer work as a journalist. He was informed that he had not been accredited in terms of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Mr Meldrum informed the immigration authorities that he had filed an application to the Supreme Court and pending the outcome he should be allowed to practice journalism as provided by the Act. The Immigration authorities then informed him that they had a deportation order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs which empowered them to deport him forthwith without disclosing the reason for the deportation. Mr Meldrum was then forced into a car and taken to the airport. 6. They claim that an urgent appeal was filed in the High Court to interdict the deportation order and to compel the State to bring Mr Meldrum before the High Court by 1530hrs that same day. But at 15:30hrs, the State Counsel appeared in court without Mr Meldrum. The High Court gave another order prohibiting the State from deporting Mr Meldrum. At about 2000hrs, the State Counsel informed the Court that Mr Meldrum could not be located. The High Court issued another order for the release of Mr Meldrum and this order was served on the immigration authorities by Mr Meldrum’s lawyer who had to drive to the airport for that purpose. In spite all these efforts and Court orders, the State defiantly deported Mr Meldrum.