CPJ says summoning post reporters is absurd

The entire editorial staff of the Post newspaper is expected to appear in court tomorrow to answer charges of contempt of court.

Magistrate Charles Kafunda formally cited Professor Muna Ndulo and Post Editor-In-Chief Fred M’membe but said he wanted entire editorial staff of the post to appear before him so that he could determine if any of them is involved in the comtempt.

But committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has described the action of the magistrate as absurd.

“With each judicial action, Zambian authorities make this into a bigger story worldwide,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “Summoning an entire editorial staff over an opinion piece exposes the absurd lengths authorities are going to harass The Post.”

The Post published on Thursday an op-ed by a U.S.-based contributor, Cornell University law professor Muna Ndulo, which was critical of the ongoing criminal prosecution of Post News Editor Chansa Kabwela. Kabwela faces charges of circulating obscene materials after sending Zambian officials photographs of a woman giving birth without medical aid outside the University Teaching Hospital, which was affected by a health care worker strike at the time.

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