New York, August 31, 2009--A magistrate in Zambia issued a summons today for the entire editorial staff of the southern African country's largest independent newspaper to appear in court on Wednesday on contempt charges, according to local journalists and news reports. The ruling was prompted by an op-ed commenting on the prosecution of the paper's news editor.
The Post published on Thursday an op-ed by a U.S.-based contributor,
Today, Magistrate Charles Kafunda, who is overseeing Kabwela's case, formally cited Ndulo and Post Editor-In-Chief Fred M'membe, a 1995 recipient of CPJ's International Press Freedom Award, for contempt in relation to the original dissemination of the photos, according defense lawyer Sam Mujuda. The magistrate summoned the rest of the staff in relation to the op-ed. The charge carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison, Mujuda said.
"With each judicial action, Zambian authorities make this
into a bigger story worldwide," said CPJ Executive Director
Earlier this month, Zambian journalists took to the streets
to protest at least 21 incidents of harassment
this year, according to the Media