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"Zambia Daily Mail" crew attacked

(MISA/IFEX) - On 21 September 2011, the "Zambia Daily Mail" newspaper reported that a group of political supporters had assaulted one of the paper's news crews as the journalists were covering elections in the Kanyama constituency. The incident took place on 20 September. The group accused reporters Chimwemwe Mwale, Elizabeth Sakala and Tryness Mbale, and driver Gift Nyakasambale, of carrying election materials.

According to Mwale, the incident happened when they were waiting for their colleagues at Chibolya Basic School, which is a vote tallying centre.

The group was also said to have smashed the window of the "Zambia Daily Mail" vehicle that the reporters were travelling in. Nyakasambale was left bleeding, while Mwale suffered a bruised arm and swelling on the head. Sakala and Mbale were left traumatized by the incident, which was reported to the police.

Efforts to contact the "Zambia Daily Mail" for comment were unsuccessful as the paper's phone line was continually busy.

Reacting to these allegations, MISA-Zambia chairperson Daniel Sikazwe stated, "Attacks of this nature constitute human rights violations and must not be tolerated. All parties are obliged to conduct themselves in a democratic and peaceful manner. We call on political supporters to refrain from making the situation any more volatile than it already is at the moment."

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