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IFEX members protest Zambian authorities' efforts to silence independent media

(IFEX) - The following is a joint action signed by IFEX members protesting
the Zambian authorities' attempts to silence "The Post" newspaper and other
independent media in Zambia:




We the undersigned, having come together in Cape Town between 19 and 23
April 1999 for the annual conference of the International Freedom of
Expression Exchange (IFEX), wish to express our concern and alarm at the:

- continued and calculated attempts by the Zambian government to silence the
independent media in general and "The Post" newspaper

- continued government control over state owned print and electronic media

The twelve journalists who were arrested and charged with espionage at
different times last month have been committed to the Zambian high court for
trial for the story which was published in "The Post" regarding Zambia's
military capabilities against that of neighbouring Angola.

Those charged are: Managing Director of "The Post" Fred M'membe, reporters
Dickson Jere, Rueben Phiri, Brighton Phiri, Ms Mukalaya Nampito and Joe
Kaunda.

Others are: Macpherson Muyumba, Ms Liseli Kayumba, Ms Lubasi Katundu,
Goodson Machona, Douglas Hapande and Kelvin Shimo.

One reporter, Amos Malupenga, was discharged by the state.

We therefore call on authorities in Zambia to:

Immediately drop espionage charges against the twelve journalists from "The
Post" newspapers.

Immediately desist from its continued harassment of independent media,
particularly "The Post" newspaper.

Respect the right to free expression and media freedom of the Zambian people
as enshrined in the country's constitution and other treaties to which
Zambia is a signatory.

Signed:

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
Committee to Protect Journalists
FORJA
Freedom House
Greek Helsinki Monitor
Media Institute of Southern Africa
Media Watch, Bangladesh
Pakistan Press Foundation
PEN American Center
West African Journalists Association
World Press Freedom Committee


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