MISA Zambia has condemned Wednesday’s arrest of photojournalist Salim Dawood using an archaic piece of legislation.
Salim is the Zambian photo correspondent for the international agency, AFP.
The photojournalist was arrested on Wednesday afternoon for taking pictures of a Zesco substation in Kamwala South.
He was detainted for four hours at Kabwata Police Station and only released after the intervention of prominent Lusaka lawyer Keith Mweemba.
MISA-Zambia vice chairperson Hyde Haguta yesterday stated that the detention and subsequent release of Dawood for taking pictures of a Zesco substation was a source of concern because Zambia continued to lag behind in technology.
“The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia raises this concern based on the fact that Dawood was kept in police custody for four hours and later released after payment of admission of guilt fine for taking pictures of the said substation when the whole world can actually see it through internet based map applications,” Haguta stated. “MISA Zambia is worried with the continued enforcement of laws that are archaic. Moreover, the deletion of the pictures Dawood took amounts to censorship and is a violation of the media and its ability to report news based on its newsworthiness.”
He called on the Ministry of Home Affairs to repeal such laws and reorient the Zambia Police to ensure the law being enforced was not oppressive and was in tandem with modernity.
“In addition, the law must not deter media from carrying out their duties, including pictorial evidence gathering for news items,” said Haguta.