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Startseite Urgent Actions 2019 01 Journalist arbitrarily detained incommunicado Detained journalist denied family visits
FI 001/19-2
Mozambique
Aktiv seit 5. Februar 2019 | Noch 30 Tage Laufzeit

Detained journalist denied family visits

AI-Index: AFR 41/9792/2019

Journalist Amade Abubacar was transferred from the Macomia district prison to Mieze prison in Pemba district, the capital of Cabo Delgado province on 24 January. Since then prison authorities have denied him family visits. He was allowed one supervised visit with members of a Commission of the Mozambican Bar Association and his lawyer on 25 January where he alleged that he had been subjected to ill-treatment while in military detention.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Amade Abubacar is a 31-year-old community radio journalist was arbitrary arrested on 5 January 2019 by police officers in Macomia district while he was interviewing internally displaced civilians who fled their homes due to the intensification of violent attacks by people believed to be members of an extremist group known as «Al-Shabab» in the Northern Cabo Delgado. Without an arrest warrant, the police officers handcuffed him, confiscated his cell phone and took him to Macomia Police station. On the same day, Amade Abubacar was transferred from Macomia District Command of the Police of the Republic of Mozambique (PRM) to the military detention in Mueda, where he was held incommunicado for 12 days without being brought before court.

On 18 January, Macomia’s District Judicial Court ordered his continued pre-trial detention at the Macomia District Police Command.

 

Take action

  • Write an appeal in your own words or use the model letter below.
  • Please take action before 19 March 2019.
  • Preferred language: Portugese. You can also write in your own language.

 

Model letter

Dear Minister Joaquim Veríssimo,

I would like to bring to your attention the case of Amade Abubacar, a local journalist with Nacedje community radio based in Macomia district, Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique. On 24 January, Amade was transferred from the Macomia district prison to Mieze prison in Pemba district, the capital of Cabo Delgado province. Since his arrival at this prison, the prison authorities have denied him family visits. Restrictions to Amade’s right of access to family amount to inhumane treatment.

On 25 January, a Commission of representatives of the Mozambican Bar Association alongside Amade’s lawyer were allowed a supervised visit with him at Mieze prison. The director of the prison stayed at the room during the meeting. Amade told the Commission that he had been subjected to ill-treatment by the military after his arrest on 5 January. He said that the military officers shook him several times and forced him to sleep handcuffed. He also confirmed being deprived of food for a few days. During the meeting, he complained of a headache, fever and pain in his body. Prior to his arrest, Amade had no health issues, but his health has been deteriorating in detention.

Amade Abubacar is in detention being investigated on the crimes of «public incitement using electronic media» and «violation of State secrecy» under articles 322 and 323 of Mozambique’s Penal Code. He was arrested while interviewing internally displaced people in Macomia District.

Amnesty International is very concerned with the treatment Amade Abubacar has been receiving in police custody.

We urge you to:

  • Ensure that the Mozambican authorities immediately and unconditionally release Amade Abubacar;
  • Ensure that, pending his release, Amade Abubacar is protected from torture and other ill-treatment and that his conditions of detention are in line with international standards, including access to water, food and access to a proper health care;
  • Ensure that he is given prompt access to his family and is allowed regular visits by his family and lawyers;
  • Ensure that the right to freedom of expression and media freedom are fully respected and that journalists are able to carry out their work without fear of attacks, intimidation, harassment or censorship.

Yours sincerely,

Appeals to

Joaquim Veríssimo
Honourable Minister of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs
Av. Julius Nyerere 33
Maputo
Mozambique

Email: mjcr@mjcr.gov.mz and vilanchic@yahoo.com.br

Salutation: Dear Minister Joaquim Veríssimo,

 

 

Copies to

Ambassade de la République du Mozambique
Rue J.-A. Gautier 13
1201 Genève

Fax: 022 901 17 84
E-mail: mission.mozambique@bluewin.ch

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