Reporters Without Borders today condemned death threats sent by text to Salomao Moyana, editor of the weekly Magazine Independente, published in the capital, Maputo.
Moyana has received several threatening text messages since 18 May and although anonymous they are clearly from supporters of the opposition political party the Mozambican National Resistance Movement (Renamo), the worldwide press freedom organisation said.
The threats follow the publication of an editorial written by Moyana in which he criticised the “political inconsistency” of party leader Afonso Dhlakama, who refuses to recognise the legitimacy of Renamo deputies sitting in parliament without his prior agreement. The journalist also wrote about the leader’s private life.
Reporters Without Borders has learned of the content of some of the messages which include: “You go around insulting Afonso Dhlakama and you think you can destroy his image”, “You write shit and you think that we're fools”, “We are tired of you… We will beat you. We will look for you to beat you like you never seen in your life” and so on.
“The Mozambican police criminal investigation department has been informed of these threats against the journalist and have promised him they will investigate this case. We support the step taken by Salomao Moyana and call on the police to carry out a thorough investigation,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.
“We fear that these threats could be carried out, particularly since Moyana has already been targeted on 20 May, when his car was vandalised outside his home,” the organisation said.
The Mozambican section of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has also publicly condemned the threats against the editor.