Tag Archives: Zambia

Zambia: The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the arrest and detention of lawyer Oliver Holland in Zambia

May 10, 2017

The Law Society of Upper Canada

The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the arrest and detention of lawyer Oliver Holland in Zambia.

Oliver Holland is a lawyer at a UK-based law firm called Leigh Day. A solicitor in the international and group claims department, he works primarily on group actions against British multinational corporations where environmental damage has occurred. Currently, he is representing 1,800 Zambian villagers in a class action against the UK-based mining company Vedanta Resources plc and its Zambian subsidiary, Konkola Copper Mines (KCM). The lawsuit alleges that the companies, through their copper mining operations, are responsible for polluting the villagers’ water sources and farmland, as well as the resulting illness, death, and low crop yields.

According to reports, on January 10, 2017, Oliver Holland was arrested and taken into custody by Zambian authorities after meeting with his clients in their communities for the purposes of providing an update on their case. Mr. Holland reported that the arresting officers were driving a vehicle displaying the Konkola Copper Mines logo. He was initially charged under the Public Order Act, which prohibits meetings of more than three people without a police permit. This Act stems from colonial times and “is normally only used during election times by political parties”.   Later, the charge was changed to “unlawful assembly” under the Penal Code Act. He was detained at the Chingola Central Police Station for four hours without access to a lawyer, food or water. Ultimately, after he agreed to accept the reduced offence of “conduct likely to cause a breach of peace”, a misdemeanour for which he paid a fine of ZMK50 ($5), he was released.

The Law Society is deeply concerned about the treatment of Oliver Holland. Given the nature of his work as a lawyer and the number of clients involved in the lawsuit, the only feasible way to keep his clients apprised is via group meetings involving 100-150 people. The charges, whether under the Public Order Act, Penal Code Act, or even the misdemeanour that he was ultimately forced to accept, were not grounded on an act or omission that could reasonably be considered criminal. They were thus improper and may have constituted an abuse of process.

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147503800

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147503800&langtype=1036 (FRANCAIS)

Advertisements

Zambia: Zambian judge demands probe into attacks on lawyers

April 20, 2017

Zambian judge demands probe into attacks on lawyers

A court in Zambia on Thursday ordered an investigation into claims that lawyers for opposition figures accused of treason have been attacked and harassed.

Vincent Malambo, a lawyer for United Party for National Development (UPND) President Hakainde Hichilema, said the defendants’ legal representatives had been harassed since taking on the case.

“One lawyer has since gone into hiding after an attack at his home last night,” Malambo told the court in capital Lusaka, referring to fellow lawyer Keith Mweemba.

“This is a serious matter that needs serious ruling and order to protect lawyers and their families.”

Hichilema was arrested at his home on April 10. He is accused with five other UPND officials of treason over an incident two days earlier when they allegedly blocked President Edgar Lungu’s motorcade as it passed through Mongu, a town 500 kilometers (310 miles) west of Lusaka.

http://aa.com.tr/en/africa/zambian-judge-demands-probe-into-attacks-on-lawyers/801576

Zambia/UK: IBAHRI concerned by arrest of human rights lawyers in Zambia

January 30, 2017

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute is concerned by the recent arrest of human rights lawyer Oliver Holland in Zambia. Mr Holland, a lawyer with London-based law firm Leigh Day, was escorted to Chingola Central Police Station and detained without charge after conducting meetings with clients of a class action lawsuit in Zambia on Tuesday 10 January.

Mr Holland was meeting with clients from village communities regarding a lawsuit filed by 1,800 Zambian villagers against UK-based mining multinational Vedanta Resources and its Zambia-based subsidiary, Konkola Copper Mines (KCM). Both companies have been accused by villagers of being responsible for polluting their water sources and farm land, resulting in illness, death and low crop yields.

Mr Holland was initially detained under the Public Order Act which prohibits meetings of more than three people without a police permit. However, the very nature of Mr Holland’s work – representing 1,800 villagers with limited access to alternative means of communication – requires that he update his clients via group meetings involving around 100 to 150 people at a time.

After being detained for four hours, Mr Holland was informed that he was instead charged under the Penal Code Act for Unlawful Assembly. Upon being offered to have the charge reduced to a misdemeanour and a fine if he agreed to the offence, Mr Holland accepted and was released.

The Commanding Officer of the Police Station informed Mr Holland that he would have to seek a police permit before meeting with his clients in future. In order for Mr Holland to consult his clients the next day he was required to not only request a permit, but also consent to the presence of an undercover armed police officer at the meetings.

http://www.ibanet.org/Article/NewDetail.aspx?ArticleUid=95105251-9113-4e97-8d17-4be463e23a73

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/cf02183c2e1748dd8611aced6c951f4d/british-lawyer-briefly-detained-zambias-copper-region

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/practice/leigh-day-demands-answers-after-lawyer-arrest-in-zambia/5059366.article

http://ukzambians.co.uk/home/2017/01/13/british-lawyer-detained-in-chingola-for-probing-kcm-pollution/lawyer-oliver-holland/

Zambia: Zambian opposition party lawyer arrested – report

September 20, 2016

The lawyer of Zambia’s main opposition, the United Party for National Development (UPND) has been arrested for allegedly being in possession of subversive materials, said a report on Tuesday.

According to the Lusaka Times, the Lusaka based lawyer, Martha Mushipe, was found to be in possession of a “confidential document entitled Strategy of domination PF against opposition UPND 2015 – 2016 and beyond” which among others involved use of violence against the opposition.

The document was allegedly compiled by former Justice Minister Dr Ngosa Simbyakula and two others who were not identified.

Mushipe has since been denied bail, but according to her lawyers they would be going to the Lusaka Magistrate Court to secure her release.

This came just a week after Edgar Lungu was sworn in for his second term as the southern African country’s president.

UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema dismissed the ceremony as “Illegal and unconstitutional”.

Lungu, who first took power last year following the death of Micheal Sata, won the August 11 election by around 100 000 votes. Hichilema, however, alleged that the result was riddled with fraud.

http://m.news24.com/news24/Africa/News/zambian-opposition-party-lawyer-arrested-report-20160920

Zambia: IBAHRI calls on President Lungu of Zambia to respect fair trial standards in tribunal of DPP

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) calls on President Edgar Lungu of Zambia to respect fair trial standards and ensure that the tribunal set up to probe the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mutembo Nchito SC, on alleged abuse of authority charges be completely transparent.

Mr Nchito was arrested at his home in Lusaka on Thursday 12 February, after Chongwe Magistrates’ Court (CMC) issued a warrant for his arrest for alleged misconduct and violation of the laws of Zambia. This was the result of a complaint filed by former deputy Minister for Finance Newton Nguni before the CMC. The alleged offences are purported to have been committed in Lusaka, which is outside of the CMC’s territorial jurisdiction. As such, the Lusaka High Court has ordered a stay of the arrest warrant and declared the arrest to be null and void, stating that the CMC, as the lower tribunal, had no competences over the issue.

http://www.ibanet.org/Article/Detail.aspx?ArticleUid=c6b44d7b-4ee5-412b-b88c-9c16bcdf88a2