Mozambique: "I Can’t Believe in Justice Any More"

November 16, 2009

Just a few weeks ago, on October 28th, elections were held in Mozambique, elections won by President Armando E. Guebuza of the ruling Frelimo party by about 75% of the votes. The main opposition party, Renamo, is now contesting the vote, accusing Frelimo of rigging the vote. Nevertheless, election observers from the European Union said the voting was “well-managed” and “calm.” So far no election-related violence has erupted in this southern African Country. Positive signs you may say. 

But not everything in Mozambique is as rosy as it may seem. Amnesty International just released today a new report on police accountability in Mozambique. The report, which follows up from an earlier report published in 2008 on the same issue, looks at the failure of the authorities to ensure justice for victims by not investigating suspected unlawful killings by the police.

Amnesty’s investigations in Mozambique show that at least 46 people have been unlawfully killed by police since 2006. In the majority of these cases, there has not been even as little as an investigation opened and in only a few have suspected officers been brought to justice, leaving families in the dark about what happened to their loved ones.

There are two-stage crimes. The initial unlawful deprivation of the most fundamental human right–to life–and the unwillingness of the Mozambican authorities to seek justice for that crime. Impunity is a prerequisite for all manner of things–none of them good for Mozambique – AIUSA’s Advocacy Director for Africa, Scott Edwards

Amnesty is calling on the government of Mozambique to ensure that all cases of police force that result in death or serious injury are fully investigated and those police officers responsible be brought to justice. The families of those killed deserve it.

Take action now to help bring an end to human rights violations by the police in Mozambique!