Reporters Without Borders condemn arrest of Zambian journalist

Salim Dawood
Salim Dawood

Reporters Without Borders has condemned the arrest and detention of Zambian photo journalist Salim Dawood.

Salim is the Zambian photo correspondent for the international agency AFP.

The photojournalist was arrested on the afternoon of Wednesday September 12 for taking pictures of a Zesco substation in Kamwala South.

Police confiscated Salim’s camera before detaining him at Kabwata Police Station around 17:30 hours.

He was released on bond about four hours later after the intervention of prominent Lusaka lawyer Keith Mweemba.

Police handed back the camera to Salim after deleting the images and making him pay an admission of guilt fine.

But in a tweet, Reporters Without Borders say making a journalist pay for his job is a violation of press freedom.

“#Zambia #RSF condemns yesterday’s arrest of @AFPAfrica Photographer for taking pictures of a power station. He was released after a few hours but still due to an admission of guilt. Making a #journalist pay for doing his job is a violation of #press freedom,” read the Reporters Without Borders tweet.

Reporters Without Borders (RWB), or Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Paris, France, that conducts political advocacy on issues relating to freedom of information and freedom of the press.

Salim Dawood
Salim Dawood


  1. What was wrong with power station?
    And why that boy with wrong name can’t find a decent job like Male-nurse or primary school teacher.

    • Nothing wrong with his NAME. Neither is it a crime to take a picture of a power station. Since when was this a crime in Zambia?? Our Police are so corrupt. Instead of protecting the people, they do things to impress corrupt politicians.

    • Good job Zambia. The little boy works for another little boy known as UNder FIve or CHILDISH. He must not take photos related to national security infrastructure. He looks like he has no clue about what he was doing – just like his clueless chronic loser boss and god.

  2. kkkkkkkk nice one let him get the picture of the US embassy where it is written that no photographs have to be taken at that place. Journalist have now gone too far

  3. Visionless Drunken Dictator Jonathan Pombe Mutaware’s back is against the wall now, with all these daily reports of scandal upon scandal. BE WARNED HE WILL BEGIN TO BITE NOW, AS HES PASSED THE BARKING STAGE.
    When a Dictator is cornered, they resorts to violence & intimidation of those standing in his way, & the poor journalist who was just doing his job gets lynched, & incarcerated on trumped up charges.
    Mutaware is now using Museveni’s recipe cook book on Tinpot Dictatorship. Ask Kezia Besigye!

      Pleeeease, dont show us Stone age backwardness.
      We are NO LONGER in K.K’s 1970’s, where taking a tourist snap in Lusaka got one locked up for espionage.
      Lelo we have Google Earth, just in case you have NOT caught up & moved with the times. Today using Google earth, one can, & will be able to get CLEAR images of State House grounds, even the roof. Arakan Barracks is NOT exempt, try it.
      So your P.F Cadre talk is invalid, & totally debunked forthwith. Moral of the story is this age that power station is NOT Top secret!
      Now relax go have a beer, as weekend has started, & for once stop dreaming like an uninformed street P.F Cadre

  4. As a journalist, he should be able to read and understand the rules that are posted at installations like the one he photographed foolishly. Was it for sabotage?

    • This little boy is a grade 7 that is why he has no clue of what he is doing. They should go to the UNDER FIVE CLINIC for weighing with HH. They might have missed this month’s vaccinations too.

  5. There are upgrade works ongoing and as per practice the place is guarded by parapara’s coz there $$$millions worth of materials on site.

    Para’s don’t like being photographed.

    • Correspondents with little knowledge just like some little underqualified little boys posing as presidents of small tribal H-organisations they call “political parties!”

  6. I don’t understand Zambians. Here’s someone taking photos of a strategic installation and you support such rubbish? In our days even being found at the post office was a jailable offense. Come on even if you want your village mate to become president there must be a limit to what you support.

    • In your days which I suspect are Kaunda days the country was under a state of emergency because Zambia was fighting a liberation struggle with Rhodesia and South Africa so we can understand the sensitivity of firestations, bridges, etc. We are no longer at war and we are not a one party state. Our freedom our democracy should reflect in our day-to-day existence. The problem with some of you old guards is you want all of us to go through what you went through even when it’s not necessary

  7. Just looking at the boy. Uchitowona che ati he is a problem child type. uchito lema so, bribing tuma teachers na tuma headmasters with beer so that bakapaseko place mu sukulu.

  8. Comment:kkkkkkkk sure sure why. shud have got permission fro OP and zesco otherwise balafwa western
    media are up in arms against Zambia for going East alefwaya photo ya documentary wanyala alefwaya kadollar. Abash Imperialists, Africa for Africans we support Chinese as they have been all weather friends HH takatekepo zambian presidency is not AngloAmerica ….. na confidential fyakuti.

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