Annual Report: Mozambique 2011

Report
May 28, 2011

Annual Report: Mozambique 2011

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Head of state: Armando Guebuza
Head of government: Aires Bonifacio Baptista Ali (replaced Luísa Días Diogo in January)
Death penalty: abolitionist for all crimes
Population: 23.4 million
Life expectancy: 48.4 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f): 162/144 per 1,000
Adult literacy: 54 per cent

The police committed human rights violations including extrajudicial executions and arbitrary arrests. Police used live ammunition during protests, killing 14 people and injuring more than 400. There were reports of torture and other ill-treatment in prisons.

Background

In January, President Armando Guebuza was sworn in for a second term. In the same month he replaced Prime Minister Luísa Días Diogo with Aires Bonifacio Baptista Ali.

At least 10 people were killed during lynchings by community members that occurred throughout the country in 2010. Scores of others were seriously injured during attempted lynchings. The majority of these incidents occurred in Sofala province.

A number of prison escapes occurred. In January, 51 prisoners escaped from a prison in Nampula, of whom seven were recaptured. In March, three prisoners escaped from the maximum security prison in Maputo and in October a further 17 prisoners escaped from a prison in Nampula. Seven guards were arrested in connection with the Maputo escape.

Hundreds of undocumented migrants, some of them refugees, were arrested. The majority were allegedly attempting to enter South Africa irregularly. In June, nine people drowned and more than 40 went missing after a boat carrying scores of undocumented migrants sank off the coast of Cabo Delgado province.

In October, the government publicly declared its commitment to ensuring reform of the prison system and particularly to reducing overcrowding in prisons. Discussions started on a Bill on alternatives to prison sentences.

Also in October, the Interior Minister was removed from his post and made Minister of Agriculture. This move followed protests in Maputo and Manica provinces where police used live ammunition to control the crowds, killing 14 people.

In November Mozambique ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol.

Police

Police were convicted of criminal activities including assault, robbery, extortion and murder. There were a number of cases of police being killed or seriously injured by alleged criminals, apparently sometimes because of links between police officers and criminal gangs.

Excessive use of force

Police continued to use excessive force during demonstrations and to stop alleged criminals. In May, the body of Agostinho Chaúque - whom the authorities had called "public enemy number one" - was found in Matola city near his family home. Police claimed he was killed in an exchange of fire in Maputo city.