State declines to prosecute journalist

February 15, 2006
Original Alert: November 9, 2005

Fred M’membe, The Post

The Zambian state declined to prosecute award-winning journalist M’membe for criticizing President Levy Mwanawasa. M’membe, editor of Zambia’s leading daily The Post, was charged with insulting the president in November 2005. He was released on bail after six hours in policy custody. He faced prison if convicted.

Based on the state’s decision not to prosecute, the presiding magistrate dismissed the case against M’membe, according to the local chapter of the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA).

Lead defense lawyer Edgar Lungu told MISA that the case’s dismissal had deprived the defense of an opportunity to set a precedent for free expression.

For more information about this case, see: