§ Lord Avebury
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they are aware that the indefinite detention of Fred M'membe, editor-in-chief of the Post and Bright Mwape, managing editor of the Post, on charges of contempt of Parliament is being justified by the Zambian authorities on the grounds that their Parliament inherited these powers from the United Kingdom; whether they will ask the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to conduct a seminar on the use of contempt powers by Parliaments; and whether, in the meantime, they will ask the Zambian Parliament to suspend the detention of the journalists pending clarification of precedents.
§ Lord Chesham
We are aware that two editors of thePost newspaper have been detained following a Zambian parliamentary ruling. We have no plans at present to ask the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to conduct a seminar on the use of contempt powers by parliaments. Meanwhile we do not intend to approach the Zambian Parliament about the detentions.