News blackout in the north
Press freedom is in retreat in Mozambique and it is hard to know whether Filipe Nyusi’s reelection as president and a fragile peace deal with former army rebels will reverse this trend. The October 2019 election confirmed the ruling party’s grip on most of the media and the European Union electoral observation mission said coverage of the election was one-sided. There is a great deal of pressure on independent journalists, and attacks against reporters were common during previous elections, especially the local ones in 2018.
It is now virtually impossible to access the north of the country, the site of an Islamist insurrection, without risking arrest. Two journalists who tried were detained for four months in 2019 and are still charged with inciting hostility against state officials and insulting them. The information blackout also affects international media, which are finding it increasingly difficult to get permission to cover this subject. Fortunately for the international media, a plan to dramatically increase accreditation fees for foreign reporters has yet to be implemented. The emergence of new media outlets is hampered by many administrative and financial restrictions. On the eve of a papal visit to Mozambique in September 2019, RSF and 11 other human rights groups wrote to Pope Francis asking him to press the Mozambican authorities to respect and promote human rights at a time when press freedom is under threat.
103 in 2019
32.66 in 2019