MEDIA
04/15/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Barry Bearak, New York Times Correspondent Jailed In Zimbabwe, Released On Bail

Agence France-Presse reported earlier today that jailed New York Times correspondent Barry Bearak was released on bail in Zimbabwe:

A Zimbabwean court released Monday a US journalist and a British national on bail after charging them with reporting on the March 29 elections without accreditation, their lawyer said.

"They have both been released on 300 million dollars bail," lawyer Harrison Nkomo told journalists outside the court. The bail amount is equivalent to 10,000 US dollars according to the official exchange rate.

He said New York Times correspondent Barry Bearak, 58, and a 45-year-old British national had been told to reappear in court on Thursday and ordered to stay in Harare.

The pair were arrested at a Harare guest house on Thursday and have spent four nights behind bars.

Bearak, who won a Pulitzer prize in 2002 for his reporting from Afghanistan, has been ordered to stay at the US embassy and the Briton at a medical clinic after he slipped and injured his back in jail, Nkomo said.

The New York Times confirms the report, writing:

A New York Times journalist jailed for covering the elections in Zimbabwe without government permission was arraigned and released on bail on Monday, according to one of his lawyers, Harrison Nkomo....

Mr. Bearak and a British citizen -- who was also granted bail on Monday -- had been held in custody since the raids, accused of violating the country's strict journalism laws. Three judges have refused to hear Mr. Bearak's case so far, his Zimbabwean lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, told reporters outside a courthouse in Harare on Monday. But Mr. Bearak was granted a court date for Thursday, Mr. Nkomo.

Under the terms of his bail, Mr. Bearak was released to a clinic; he suffered some injuries as the result of a fall from the concrete bunk in his cell to the concrete floor, seven feet below. Mr. Bearak's passport was confiscated and he was required to put up 300 million Zimbabwean dollars as bail, about $10,000 at official exchange rates but only about $6 at black market rates.

Read the entire AFP report here or the entire NYT report here.