Newspaper Editor Acquitted in Zambia

November 21, 2009

The case against news editor, Chansa Kabwela, from Zambia’s newspaper The Post has  been thrown out after the court failed to prove their case against the journalist.  Kabwela faced pornography charges and jail time after sending graphic photos of woman giving birth on a pavement to the country’s president.

The photos were taken during the country’s doctor strike in June, which left many in the country without proper medical help.  The infant, unfortunately suffocated and later died.

Ms Kabwela told reporters, including those from The Telegraph,

“This victory to me is a victory for those that suffered during the strike. I was confident that I would be acquitted.”

The Post is Zambia’s only private newspaper and there is speculation that the charges may have been a politically move to halt the reporting of corruption in the government.

In article in The Post, Professor Muna Ndulowritten, an Ivy League law professor, writes,

“The average person in Zambia, while no doubt being shocked and disgusted by the picture, would not regard the publication of pictures of a woman giving birth in order to expose the plight of ordinary people during a national strike by medical personnel as being prurient and having the effect or as intended to deprave and corrupt morals.

Instead, the pictures should lead to outrage and anger at those who were not making maximum efforts to end the strike.”

Click here to hear more about the strike earlier this summer in an interview from the BBC.


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