A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in Zambia for allegedly defaming the country’s president in Facebook posts, as critics accuse the administration of turning increasingly authoritarian.
The unnamed teenager, based in Kapiri Mposhi, was arrested on Monday and charged with three counts of libel against the president of Zambia, Edgar Lungu. He will appear in court soon, police said.
“The suspect is alleged to have created a Facebook page using the name ‘Zoom’ and published defamatory matters against the republican president.” Esther Katongo, a police spokeswoman, said in a statement.
The boy faces a maximum sentence of five years in jail if found guilty.
One of his posts read: “Which other name can you name a dog apart from Edgar Lungu.” Another said: “We are better off as a country without Edgar Lungu.”
Lungu, in power since 2015, has faced mounting complaints that he is cracking down on dissent and seeking to consolidate power before next year’s elections. A number of opposition leaders have been arrested in recent years on charges of defaming him.