Journalist Peter Niesewend, who spent 71 days in solitary confinement in Rhodesian jails, arrived in London by air on Friday (May 6) after his sudden release the previous day.
Journalist Peter Niesewend, who spent 71 days in solitary confinement in Rhodesian jails, arrived in London by air on Friday (May 6) after his sudden release the previous day. He told reporters solitary confinement had been a great strain -- and he only got through it by 'pretending I wasn't there.'
Niesewand, aged 28, left his 26-year-old pregnant wife and baby son in Salisbury to clear up his affairs before they join him in England. He was jailed on February 20 under the country's Emergency Powers Act and later charged -- in a separate issue -- with contravening the Official Secrete Act. He was found guilty and sentenced to two years hard labour in prison, with one year suspended, but an appeals court quashed the conviction on Tuesday (May 1).
A statement by Rhodesian Minister of Justice, Law and Order Mr. Desmond Lardner-Burke on Thursday (May 4) said Niesewand was allowed to leave Rhodesia as he considered Niesewand's presence outside Rhodesia "will not be detrimental to the interests of public safety or public order within Rhodesia". The detention order was not revoked, and could be used if Niesewand returned -- apart from two weeks annually which Niesewand has been granted to visit relatives.
Niesewand, a Rhodesian citizen, represents several international news organisations. His detention order was signed by Mr. Lardner-Burke, who was a personal friend of the Niesewand family through the reporter's wife.