The decision to shut down the independent newspaper, The Post, is a deliberate ploy to silence the media ahead of the election, said Amnesty International today.
Zambian authorities ordered the closure of the publishing company, Post Newspapers Limited, on 21 June 2016, demanding US$6.1 Million tax in arrears. However, the newspaper is alleging selective application of the law by authorities to target the critical news organization.
"The closure of The Post newspaper is a disturbing development clearly designed to silence critical media voices. The shutting down of one of Zambia’s main independent newspapers in the run up to an election is an affront to media freedom and the authorities should immediately reverse their decision,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International's Director for Southern Africa.
"If the newspaper owes taxes, necessary arrangements should be made to settle the dispute. Shutting down the newspaper threatens the right to freedom of expression."