British lawyer briefly detained in Zambia's copper region

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A British law firm says one of its lawyers was arrested and held for hours in Zambia after meeting residents who filed complaints about alleged pollution from a copper mine.

The Leigh Day firm said Thursday that lawyer Oliver Holland was in Zambia to meet communities who say the mine in Chingola is damaging farmland and water sources.

Leigh Day says Holland was held without charge for four hours and did not have access to a lawyer, food or water. It says he was charged with "conduct likely to cause a breach of peace" and paid a $5 fine.

The firm represents communities bringing claims against London-based Vedanta Resources and its Zambian subsidiary, Konkola Copper Mines.

Zambian authorities confirmed that Holland and two local government officials were arrested and released.