Persecution of Watchdog writers to begin Wednesday

Zambian Watchdog writers are extremely likely to be charged with contempt of court on Wednesday, 10th November 2010.
This is part of the grand attempt to destroy the Zambian Watchdog (this website) before the 2011 presidential and general elections.
Last week, Post Newspaper management through their lawyers directed, Bonaventure Mutale SC, to raise contempt charges against the Zambian watchdog and a civil servant Emmanuel Mwamba, who is seconded to the office of former president Fredrick Chiluba.
Mutale is the lawyer acting for murder accused Mathew Mohan, and has been directed to apply to court for contempt charges in relation to an article which they say was published by the Zambian Watchdog.
The other charges that will be brought against the Watchdog are the misuse of computers under a new but barbaric law which if applied will destroy most online publications. Mutale was advised to include this charge by Muntembo Nchito, an in-house lawyer for the Post and also lawyer for the Bank of Zambia.
The charge of computer misuse is targeted at curtailing debates by people who read the Watchdog.
Last week, Post newspaper Managing editor Amos Malupenga copied letters to Judge-in-Charge, Judge Philip Musonda, Supreme Court Judge Gregory Phiri, who is sitting as High Court judge and is the presiding judge on the matter, and police chief, Francis Kabonde directing them to take interest in the article on the Watchdog.
The matter comes up on Wednesday 10th November 2010 for scheduled continued trial and possible hearing of the contempt charges.
Last week in Stockholm, Sweden, a Zambian Watchdog representative told a ‘Media-in -Exile conference’ that the Watchdog has been forced to operate from outside Zambia due to persecution by corrupt public officials, rival media and drug barons with support from courts.
The Watchdog representative told the meeting that the environment is too hostile that his team has to relocate to another country to avoid harassment and persecution like the one above.
The conference was organized by FOJO and sponsored by Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and attended by most major International Media support Organizations. It was attended by editors, journalists and activists who have fled their countries due to persecutions in their countries for just doing their job of reporting. They came from countries such as Burma, China, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Sudan, Belarus, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tibet etc …

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