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Amnesty International demands immediate release of newspaper owner

29 June 2016, 12:41

Lusaka - Amnesty International has demanded the "immediate and unconditional" release of the owner of The Post newspaper, Fred M'membe, his wife Mutinta and the newspaper's deputy managing editor, Joseph Mwenda.

The three were arrested on Tuesday and were currently being held at the Lusaka Central Police Station without charges.

Amnesty International said the continued persecution of M'mbembe was an infringement on his right to freedom of expression and association.

"Fred M'memba and his newspaper are victims of an attempt by the state to silence critical media and those who speak truth to power. It is unacceptable and must be brought to an end," Amnesty International's Director for Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena said in a statement.

According to The Post, the arrests followed the return of employees to the newspaper's premises after a court ruled against the Zambia Revenue Authority to allow the newspaper to continue publishing.

Zambia Watchdog said that the appeals tribunal, a Zambian court that dealt with tax-related issues, ruled that the Zambia Revenue Authority must hand back control of all seized property and possessions. The tribunal also stopped an order to freeze The Post accounts until after a court hearing on August 11.

The newspaper was shutdown last week despite reaching an agreement on how to pay back owed monies with payments already having been made.

- News 24


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