Outrage as media house is petrol-bombed in Mozambique

Although we are headquartered in Washington D.C. USA, our reporters and editors are working around the globe to cover what you care about. We invite you to donate to our fundraiser to help us keep our quality news free and available to all.  

The ongoing assault against journalism in Mozambique took a shocking new turn on 23 August when a media house was petrol-bombed, Amnesty International said on Monday, as it released a new briefing documenting attacks on press freedom and freedom of expression in the country.

On August 23, an unidentified group of people broke into the offices of the independent weekly newspaper Canal de Moçambique, doused them in petrol and set them alight with a Molotov cocktail, extensively destroying equipment, furniture and files.

The attack came four days after the newspaper published an investigative story alleging unethical procurement by politically connected individuals and senior government officials at the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy.

[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]

Canal had also published, on March 11, 2020, a story entitled “The business of war in Cabo Delgado”, alleging the existence of an illegal secret contract between the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of the Interior and natural gas companies in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province.  According to the article, the two ministries provided services to the companies, but the payments for the services were deposited into the personal account of the then Minister of Defence, Atanásio Salvador Ntumuke, rather than that of the Ministry of Defence.

“The attack on the Canal offices constitutes a turning point in the escalating crackdown on human rights in Mozambique. This is a shocking attack on press freedom and the most extreme manifestation yet of the increasing threat to journalists in Mozambique,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa.

“The authorities must undertake a prompt, thorough, impartial, independent and transparent investigation into this attack, and bring those responsible to justice.”

Exposing corruption

Amnesty International’s new briefing, “Media freedom in ashes: Repression of freedom of expression in Mozambique” documents several recent cases of journalists being arrested for politically motivated reasons, as well as cases where journalists have been harassed and grievously assaulted. Many of the cases in the briefing involve journalists and commentators attacked following publications and commentaries on corruption or misuse of public funds.

Canal de Moçambique’s Executive Director, Fernando Veloso and Editorial Director, Matias Guente were on 18 June 2020 charged with “violation of state secrecy” and “conspiracy against the state” for the 11 March article headlined “The business of war in Cabo Delgado”.

On the same day as the arson attack on Canal, investigative journalist Armando Nenane was arrested for allegedly failing to comply with COVID-19 regulations. His arrest came after he had published a story, on the news website Moz24h.co.mz, about how he deposited money into former Defence Minister’s personal bank account in an attempt to verify the story carried by Canal media on 11 March.

This piece earned Nenane wrath on social media, with some governing party supporters calling for his prosecution for “violation of state secrecy”. Nenane was detained for 25 hours at the 9th Police Station in Maputo upon his arrest on 23 August.

On 25 June 2020, police further arrested and detained Carta de Mocambique journalist Omardine Omar. Omar had been investigating allegations that the police were demanding bribes from members of the public accused of violating the COVID-19 related state of emergency.

Witnesses say police assaulted Omar at the Alto Maé’s 7th Police Station and attempted to coerce him to sign a self-incriminating statement. Omar was released on the public prosecutor’s orders on 28 June. However, on 30 June, the Ka Mpfumo Court in Maputo sentenced him to 15 days in jail, or a fine equivalent to US$ 200 in local currency for “civil disobedience”.

“It is outrageous that Omardine Omar was sentenced in what is clearly a case of vindictive injustice. We cannot say it enough; journalism is not a crime,” Deprose Muchena said.

A pattern of attacks

Journalists, researchers, academics and others who hold critical views about the Mozambican government have been subjected to harassment, intimidation, abduction, and torture in recent years.

On April 7, 2020, Ibraimo Mbaruco, a community radio journalist and newscaster in Cabo Delgado’s Palma district, was forcibly disappeared by the army. On 5 January 2019, Amade Abubacar and Germano Adriano, two other community radio journalists in Cabo Delgado’s Macomia district, were abducted by the police as they interviewed Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

On March 27, 2018, Ericino de Salema, a lawyer and journalist, was abducted by unknown gunmen who severely beat him breaking his arms and legs, after expressing a critical view about the government on television.

On May 23, 2016, Jaime Macuane, a professor of political science and public administration at Eduardo Mondlane University, was abducted and taken to an isolated area outside of Maputo where he was severely beaten and his arms and legs broken, after criticizing the government on television.

On March 2, 2015, Gilles Cistac, a constitutional lawyer and processor at Eduardo Mondlane University, was gunned down in broad daylight in Maputo, after he had publicly aired his views on the Constitution of the Republic of Mozambique.


Today News Africa
Today News Africahttps://todaynewsafrica.com
TODAY NEWS AFRICA is registered and headquartered in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America. Our publication is widely read, respected and influential. By providing daily answers to questions our readers have about the people, the businesses and the continent of Africa, we are reaching a diverse and wide audience from around the world. Our readers, many of them world leaders, trust us because we are independent and truthful. Our advertisers understand the difference between news, views and ads. Contact us: contactus@todaynewsafrica.com


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Trending Now

Damning report finds detainees in Iran were sexually abused and given electric shocks in gruesome post-protest crackdown

Iran’s police, intelligence and security forces, and prison officials have committed, with the complicity of judges and prosecutors, a catalogue of...

Nigerian activists sue President over electricity tariff and fuel price hike

Nigeria's Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and 302 concerned Nigerians have filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari and the...

Anxiety in Africa as Johnson & Johnson conceals critical details about COVID-19 vaccine illness

Anxiety continued to mount across Sub-Saharan Africa on Monday over COVID-19 vaccine trials by Johnsons & Johnson, as the company continued...

Joe Biden wins last presidential debate against Donald Trump

Joe Biden was surprisingly aggressive, it was perhaps the best debate he has had in 2020.Republicans...

Many shot, many killed, blood everywhere, as Africa’s most populous country slips into chaos

Nigeria, Africa's most populous country with more than 200 million people, is slipping into chaos. In the commercial city of Lagos,...

South Africa launches $6 billion COVID-19 employment stimulus

South Africa has launched a $6 billion (R100 billion) COVID-19 employment stimulus to be implemented over the next three years.

Nigerians in USA to hold ‘mother of all protests’ against police brutality and bad governance in their home country

Nigerians in the United States would hold the 'mother of all protests' on Saturday against police brutality and bad governance in...

Vice President Mike Pence’s top advisers, including his chief of staff, test positive for coronavirus

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff Marc Short, and two other top aides have tested positive for coronavirus.

Nigerians in USA hold protest against bad governance and police brutality in their home country

Nigerians in the United States on Saturday held a protest against bad governance and police brutality in their home country, shed...

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister erupts in anger after Trump’s Nile dam comments, says “Ethiopians have never kneeled to obey their enemies”

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says his country "will not cave in to aggression of any kind" after President Donald Trump...

AstraZeneca and Oxford COVID-19 vaccine trials resume in US. They had continued in Africa

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized trials of a vaccine being developed by pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University...

Johnson & Johnson resumes COVID-19 vaccine trials without providing information over illness as anxiety remains in Africa

Johnson & Johnson on Friday announced that it was resuming a COVID-19 vaccine trials in the United States without providing enough...

Police in U.S. failing to protect protesters from violence, as volatile elections near

Law enforcement agencies across the United States are failing to facilitate people’s fundamental right to freedom of peaceful assembly, and to...

54.2 million Americans have already voted representing 39.4% of total votes counted in 2016

At least 54.2 million Americans have already voted, according to data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project website, putting the 2020...

Vice President Mike Pence’s top advisers, including his chief of staff, test positive for coronavirus

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff Marc Short, and two other top aides have tested positive for coronavirus.Devin O'Malley, a spokesman for Mr. Pence said the Vice President and Second Lady both tested negative for the virus.“Vice President Pence and Mrs. Pence both tested negative for Covid-19 today, and remain in...


[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]