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Zambia: Civil society organisations call for High Court to declare cybercrime act unconstitutional

The Media Institute of Southern Africa Zimbabwe ('MISA Zimbabwe') announced, on 6 April 2021, that a group of Zambian civil society organisations have approached the High Court in Lusaka accusing the government of violating the Constitution through enacting the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act. In particular, MISA outlined that the group of Zambian civil society organisations include Chapter One Foundation, Bloggers of Zambia, Gears Initiative, People's Action for Accountability and Good Governance, and the Alliance for Community Action. More specifically, MISA noted that the organisations argue that the new law contains provisions that threaten the right to protection of the law and the right to freedom of expression, among other rights under the constitution.

Further to this, MISA stated that the act is inconsistent with regional and international standards and instruments on human rights, such as the African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection (Malabo Convention), reiterating its concerns that it may be used to curtail freedom of expression of the media and concurring that the government of Zambia should amend the sections of the act which limit such rights.

You can read the press release here.