BBC man held in Zimbabwe

2012-05-27 10:17

London - A classical music presenter for the BBC has been arrested and is in custody in Zimbabwe, the broadcaster reported.

Petroc Trelawny, who presents several radio programmes for the British public broadcaster, was arrested on Thursday for taking part in a music festival without a work permit, the BBC said on Saturday.

He had been acting as a compere at the Bulawayo Music Festival, taking place from 23-27 May, but was not there in his BBC capacity. Media reports said he was not being paid for the role.

Rose Benton, co-ordinator of London-based campaign group Zimbabwe Vigil, said: "He was apparently the only musician without a work permit and that is why they arrested him.

"He has been in police custody in Harare: pretty nasty business.

"Yesterday there was a public holiday. Normally it would take a day to get him out but he will be in until Monday probably."

Led from the stage

Trelawny had been posting updates on Twitter about preparations for the music festival, including rehearsals with children's choirs.

Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that he had been led from the stage by immigration officials during a performance and subsequently dislocated his shoulder in a fall in a police cell.

A spokesperson for Britain's foreign ministry said: "We can confirm the detention of a British national on May 24 in Zimbabwe. We are providing consular assistance."

A BBC spokesperson said, "We are aware of the situation and hope it will be resolved as quickly as possible."

Zimbabwean jails are notorious for poor conditions and President Robert Mugabe, 88, who has ruled the country for 30 years, is decried by activists as one of the worst perpetrators of rights abuses.

  • michael.a.devilliers - 2012-05-27 10:33

    "Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that he had been led from the stage by immigration officials during a performance and subsequently dislocated his shoulder in a fall in a police cell." - shows you that there is something a lot more sinister going on than not having a work permit.

  • Michael Kleber - 2012-05-27 10:34

    Bob how many of your countryman are working in SA without work permits , its got nothing to do with a work permit more to do with sanctions and BBC's so called biased reporting on Mugabe and his cronies ,

      sekuru.kaguvi.7 - 2012-05-27 17:50

      Do you think Zimbabwe police need instructions from President Mugabe to arrest a British citizen found working in Zimbabwe without a work permit. If this is how your British system works and you think thats ok, to me as a Zimbabwean I think its ridiculous. I do not think British police or immigration authorities need to get clearance from Cameron before they can arrest a Zimbabwean found committing a crime. I HATE this tendency by the British and most white people of telling people of other countries, especially Africans, to do things that they never do in their own countries. By now you should be aware and know for a fact that Zimbabweans do not accept that nonsence. So its not just Mugabe despises that British behaviour - and why should he. It takes far much more than what a whiteman thinks to understand what it takes for a person like President Mugabe to rule an African country with a history like Zimbabwe's for more than 32 years.

  • Paulus - 2012-05-27 10:47

    Revolutionary music I suppose. Can't have these gay puppets from the West in MY country, says Mad Bob. When will normality return to this once beautiful place?

  • nkosinathi.sinanda - 2012-05-27 11:26

    The dangers of having a one party state ruled by a tribe, policed by a tribe and centralized powers. I hope ANC will learn and stay clear from this African barbarism.

  • Sonja - 2012-05-27 11:41

    zimBobwe is hell on earth.

  • gregory.f.dean - 2012-05-27 11:46

    Wow, what a threat to Mugabe's Rule! Perhaps his baton is seen to be a dangerous weapon.

  • Hermann - 2012-05-27 11:53

    Anybody surprised?

  • Michael - 2012-05-27 12:03

    Zimbabwe,a beacon of modern African democracies....Go go Africa.

  • Sharon - 2012-05-27 12:58

    well pomms,you now have an excuse to sort bob out,lets see if you lot have the ball for it

  • ian.d.samson - 2012-05-27 14:23


  • Antin - 2012-05-27 16:53

    And in other news: "UN rights chief Navi Pillay has urged Western countries to suspend sanctions on Zimbabwe and its President Robert Mugabe to give the country a chance to implement reforms." Human rights in Zim much, Pillay?

  • sekuru.kaguvi.7 - 2012-05-27 19:45

    Anneck, if I wanted to have anyone arrested, I would have started with your Queen, followed by Tony Blair, George Bush, David Brown and all your white people who claim to own land that they stole in Zimbabwe. Who doesn't use the US Dollar?

      pnemadziba - 2012-05-28 09:11

      Ah, you guys...lets have one luv

  • ian.levinson.7 - 2012-05-27 20:23

    i suppose if he was a rap crapper it would have been all ok

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