The Human Rights Commission ( HRC) has called for the protection and safety of journalists ahead of the forthcoming August 12, 2021 general elections.
HRC Spokesperson, Mweelwa Muleya said members of the public especially political party cadres should accord the media the due respect as the fourth estate of government after the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.
Mr Muleya has since called for enhanced protection of all Journalists ahead of the August general elections.
“In a democracy such as Zambia, the government has a primary responsibility to promote and protect the right to freedom of expression without any form of interference or hindrance. The media also has a noble duty of promoting free expression of divergent and pluralistic ideas and views without any form of discrimination,” Mr. Muleya said.
He noted that government has an obligation to protect the safety of journalists to ensure an enabling environment for them to perform their duty.
“Where the lives and rights of journalists are threatened or violated, the state must take practical steps towards seeking redress for the victims while subjecting perpetrators to the due process of the law in order to end impunity,” he said.
He also called on the media to be inclusive in their programming, reporting and coverage so as to mirror Zambia as a Multi-ethnic, racial, religious, cultural and multi-party democratic state.
Mr. Muleya further said as Zambia commemorates Press Freedom Day, Journalists should continue being the frontline human rights defenders for the common good.
This year’s Press Freedom Day commemoration was graced by President Edgar Lungu.
This was contained in a statement availed to ZANIS in Lusaka today.