United States Embassy Chargé d’Affaires a.i. David J. Young during a press roundtable on the 2013 Human Rights Report for Zambia.
Lusaka. March 6, 2014.
Lusaka – The Government of the United States is disappointed by the decision of the Government of the Republic of Zambia to appeal the case of Paul Kasonkomona for allegedly “soliciting for immoral purpose.” When acquitting Mr. Kasonkomona, Magistrate Lameck Ng’ambi issued an eloquent statement about the importance of free speech in a democracy. The Zambian constitution also guarantees this fundamental right.
We urge the Zambian Government to drop its appeal in this case. Freedom of speech is a fundamental right to be respected and embraced.
The U.S. Department of State on February 27, 2014 released the 2013 Human Rights Report on Zambia and other countries around the world. This report details further restrictions on the freedom of speech and other human rights concerns. The report can be found online at: https://www.state.gov/j/drl/hr/.