A consortium of Civil Society Organizations has urged government to use the ongoing legislative review and amendment processes to amend the law on criminal defamation and defamation of the President.
The eleven CSOs has also called on the Ministry of Justice to take urgent action and table amendments to the Penal Code and other legislation that repeals all criminal defamation provisions within the current session of National Assembly.
Chapter One Foundation Executive Director Linda Kasonde says persons who hold public office must be able to tolerate a lot of criticism and expect it.
Ms Kasonde, who issued a statement on behalf of the 11 organizations, says freedom of expression must not be limited unless it poses a clear risk of harm which should also be proportionate to the harm threatened.
She says harm to an individual’s reputation is hardly a risk for which state resources and taxpayers’ money must be expended when the law provides other avenues of redress.