Fredrick Mwanza

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Mwanza, a writer and journalist, was detained under the Preservation of Public Security Act of 1960, accused of involvement with a failed coup attempt on October 28. He appeared in court on November 26, but was not charged. Mwanza then applied for a writ of habeas corpus, challenging the government to show cause why he could not be released. At a hearing on December 2, the government responded by serving Mwanza with a presidential detention order, which allows the police to hold the journalist indefinitely under the state of emergency currently in force.
Mwanza has denied all allegations that he was present at a meeting finalizing the coup plot against President Frederick Chiluba’s government. The journalist has been questioned in prison about several articles critical of government policies. His lawyer, Patrick Mvunga, has stated that Mwanza was tortured during interrogation and has been denied access to his family.