16 Jul 2009

Editor prosecuted over pictures of street birth

1:00 pm on 16 July 2009

An editor at Zambia's biggest selling newspaper has been charged with distributing obscene materials.

The Post newspaper in Lusaka sent pictures of a woman giving birth in the street to government ministers to highlight the effects of a strike in the health sector.

Doctors and nurses at hospitals and clinics were on strike over pay in May and June.

An official government spokesman declined to comment on the case.

The BBC reports the trial of the Lusaka-based Post's female news editor, Chansa Kabwela, is due to start at the beginning of August.

Pictures of the woman giving birth, to a child which subsequently died, were taken by a family member and given to the Post.

Nine months pregnant and unable to afford private care, she had gone into labour. She was turned away from two clinics and then Zambia's largest hospital.

At a press conference, President Rupiah Banda condemned the Post for circulating what he called pornography.

Ms Kabwela was charged this week with distributing obscene materials.