News

April 28, 2020

Joint letter to Mozambique’s president about journalist’s disappearance

Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi give a press conference at the President of Mozambique's office on July 11, 2019 in Maputo. Wikus DE WET / AFP
In a joint letter to Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and 16 other international and African civil society groups have expressed deep concern about violence by government forces against journalists trying to cover an Islamist insurgency in the far north province of Cabo Delgado, and have asked for a thorough investigation into a journalist’s enforced disappearance in the province.

Neither the insurrection nor the humanitarian crisis justify the violence being used by the security forces against civilians in Cabo Delgado, especially against journalists, who are often subjected to intimidation, physical violence or arrest with the sole aim of preventing them from covering the situation in the province, the 17 human rights and press freedom organizations say in their letter.

 

The letter voices particular concern about Palma Community Radio journalist Ibraimo Mbaruco’s disappearance on 7 April, in which the security forces are suspected, and calls for a thorough and transparent investigation into the case. It recalls that of Amade Ababucar, a journalist who disappeared in Cabo Delgado in January 2019 and was arbitrarily held incommunicado for three months by the army. Another journalist, STV reporter Hizidine Acha, was arrested just two weeks ago in Pemba, the capital of Cabo Delgado province, for filming police attacking civilians and was detained for several hours.

 

The clampdown on information and arbitrary arrests of journalists in Cabo Delgado are the main reason why Mozambique has fallen 19 places in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index since 2015 and is ranked 104th out of 180 countries in the 2020 Index,

 

Read the joint letter to President Filipe Nyusi here.

 

SIGNATORIES

  1.             Africans Rising
  2.             Amnesty International
  3.             Associação Dos Jornalistas De Cabo Verde (AJOC)
  4.             Centro Democracia e Desenvolvimento (CDD)
  5.             CIVICUS
  6.             Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ)
  7.             Friends of Angola
  8.             Federação de Jornalistas de Língua Portuguesa (FJLP)
  9.             Federação Nacional dos Jornalistas (FENAJ) - Brazil
  10.             International Press Institute (IPI)
  11.             Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
  12.             OMUNGA
  13.             Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
  14.             Solidariedade Moçambique (SOLDMOZ-ADS)
  15.             Southern African Human Rights Defenders Network
  16.             Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC)
  17.             The African Editors’ Forum (TAEF)