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IFJ Calls for an Inquiry Over the Death of Journalist in Zimbabwe

The International Federation of Journalists has called for an inquiry into the death of London Times photojournalist Richard Mills of Northern Ireland, found in his hotel room in Harare on July 14 and declared by authorities to be the victim of asphyxiation by hanging.

Mills's family has expressed disbelief that he could have committed suicide. However, the Times Online Web site states that, "There was no evidence of foul play."

Mills, a contract photographer for the Times of London, was buried Tuesday in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He left his wife and a five-year-old son.

IFJ General Secretary Aidan White issued a statement saying that "the death of this gifted colleague...casts a fresh shadow over the crisis for democracy in Zimbabwe."

The organization demanded that the international community, including South Africa, which is playing a crucial role in recent efforts to mediate a settlement between the ruling party and the opposition, to support a full investigation into the photographer's death.

International Federation of Journalists Director for Africa Gabriel Baglo told reporter Carole Gombakomba that there is strong suspicion Mills was murdered because he was working on an undercover assignment for The Times.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...