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Startseite Urgent Actions 2019 01 Journalist arbitrarily detained incommunicado Journalist’s request for provisional release rejected
FI 001/19-1
Mozambique
Abgeschlossen am 5. Februar 2019

Journalist’s request for provisional release rejected

AI-Index: AFR 41/9735/2019

On 18 January, Macomia’s District Judicial Court ruled that the pre-trial detention of journalist Amade Abubacar was lawful and ordered that he remain in detention awaiting trial. Mr. Abubacar was arrested by police on 5 January and transferred from the Macomia District Police Command to military detention in Mueda district. He was held incommunicado by military forces for 12 days before being transferred back into police custody. He is currently being held at the Macomia District Police Command.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Amade Abubacar was arrested on 5 January by the Police of the Republic of Mozambique (PRM) in Macomia district, Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique and taken to Macomia’s Police Station. He was arrested when he was interviewing internally displaced people (IDPs) who had fled their homes due to the intensification of violent attacks carried out by people believed to be members of an extremist group known as Alshabab in northern Cabo Delgado province. On the same day, Amade Abubacar was transferred from police to military custody, where he spent 12 days in incommunicado detention. He was transferred back to police custody on 17 January.

The northern districts of Cabo Delgado province, including Macomia, have experienced armed attacks since October 2017. The attacks are carried out by people believed to be members of an extremist group, Al-Shabab, who invade villages, set houses on fire, hack villagers to death with machetes and loot their food. Several residents of the attacked villages have fled to other districts fearing for their lives.

This province is important to the central government due to its richness in mineral resources, including gas and ruby. Therefore, the government increased the military presence in the region after the attacks began. Since then, the authorities have intimidated, harassed and prevented journalists from reporting on the situation. Amade has been covering attacks on civilians by armed groups in the Cabo Delgado province since its beginning. In fact, the community radio where Mr. Abubacar works, Nacedje radio, is a state-owned community radio in Macomia district, Cabo Delgado province in Northern Mozambique. He has been working at Nacedje community radio for more than 10 years. He was the director of this radio station for a couple of years. Nevertheless, in September 2018, he was demoted from his position as director. The reason for his demotion was his frequent reporting on the armed attacks targeting the northern districts of Cabo Delgado province. His demotion was already a result of government censorship and harassment of journalists in the region. Mr. Amade Abubacar was arrested while carrying out his work in the city he is based in.

For more information, please read the Amnesty International press release “Mozambique: End Brutal Killing Spree by Armed Group” (https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/06/mozambique-end-brutal-killing-spree-by-armed-group/).

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