Police in Lilongwe are keeping in custody a reporter for an online publication Maravi Post Dorica Mtenje following a complaint from director general of the National Intelligence Service Director.
MISA Malawi Chairperson Teresa Ndanga has confirmed the development saying Mtenje who was detained on Thursday is being held at the Malawi Police Service (MPS) headquarters in Lilongwe.
Ndanga says Mtenje denies authoring nor publishing the story in question.
“The police have also summoned Maravi Post Country Director Lloyd M’bwana for questioning over the same.
“MISA Malawi engaged the police over the issue during which the MPS National Spokesperson Peter Kalaya said the police ‘invited’ Mtenje and M’bwana, journalists connected to the publication, as part of their investigation on the alleged ‘fake story’ that Maravi Post published,” quoted Ndanga in a statement.
She adds: “Kalaya said the police were only acting on a complaint by the National Intelligence Service Director. According to Kalaya, the content of the story contravenes Electronic Transactions and Cyber Security Act and they are just enforcing the law.
“MISA Malawi has been advocating for civil remedies in issues of defamation as opposed to criminal defamation remedies that the country is following.”
Ndanga says, MISA is therefore, calling on both the complainant to withdraw the criminal defamation complaint and the police to release the detained journalist.
She says the media body is currently monitoring the situation and will be providing updates as events unfold.
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