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Authorities in Zimbabwe have arrested a freelance reporter who works for The New York Times and contributes to The Globe and Mail and accused him of obtaining fake credentials for two other Times journalists who made a reporting trip there recently, his lawyers said Friday.

The reporter, Jeffrey Moyo, 37, who was arrested Wednesday, has denied any wrongdoing, and his lawyers have called the accusation spurious. Efforts by the lawyers to secure his release have so far been unsuccessful.

Moyo, who is based in Harare, the capital, and has a wife and 8-year-old son, has done work for The Times and a number of other news organizations, including The Globe and Mail of Canada.

“We are deeply concerned by Jeffrey Moyo’s arrest and are assisting his lawyers to secure his timely release,” The Times said in a statement. “Jeffrey is a widely respected journalist with many years of reporting experience in Zimbabwe and his detainment raises troubling questions about the state of press freedom in Zimbabwe.”

One of his lawyers, Douglas Coltart, said in a telephone interview that Moyo was accused of having made a false statement to help others enter Zimbabwe, a violation of the country’s immigration law.

Coltart said the accusation was linked to Moyo’s procurement of journalist accreditation cards from the Zimbabwe Media Commission for two Times journalists in South Africa, Christina Goldbaum and João Silva, who flew to the city of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, on May 5.

Four days into their trip, the visiting journalists were ordered to leave after immigration officials advised them and Moyo that official notice of their accreditation credentials had not been received.

Moyo was subsequently arrested because immigration officials are “now saying those accreditation cards were fake,” Coltart said.

An official of the Zimbabwe Media Commission, Thabang Farai Manhika, also was arrested, according to a police document shared by Coltart.

Moyo was recently moved from police custody in Harare to a prison in the central police station of Bulawayo.

A request for bail was initially denied, Coltart said, after prosecutors objected on grounds that the matter was “a national security issue.”

A further ruling on bail was expected Monday, he said.

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