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Zambian cops use teargas to disperse closed newspaper's employees

24 June 2016, 13:13

Lusaka - Police in Zambia yesterday used teargas to disperse employees of The Post newspaper, who had gathered outside their office building in a show of defiance against a government they claimed was trying to silence the publication.

The employees had gathered at the start of business in the hope that they would be addressed by the government, but were shortly afterwards met by riot police.

The police claimed that the employees were holding an unlawful assembly and ordered them to vacate the premises "immediately".

Things escalated quickly as police officers then used teargas to disperse the crowd, also forcefully removing them, and even choking others.

Police ordered the employees to remove placards and signs and threatened to arrest them for "disobeying" the law.

News24 previously reported that human rights group, Amnesty International had criticised the Zambian government over the closure of the newspaper. 

The rights group said the government's actions were "a deliberate ploy" to silence the paper ahead of the upcoming August 11 general elections.

The group added that this was a "clear infringement" on the publication's right to the freedom of expression. It said the move was also a a clear example of President Edgar Lungu's abuse of power as The Post even had a court order to prevent its closure.

- News24 Nigeria


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