Urgent Action: Journalist Forcibly Disappeared (Mozambique: UA 54.20)

April 15, 2020

On 7 April 2020, Ibraimo Abú Mbaruco, a journalist at Palma Community Radio, did not return to his home in Palma, northern Mozambique, after work. His family and colleagues fear that he could be a victim of military arbitrary detention. Army officers approached Ibraimo Abú Mbaruco on his way home after leaving the radio station. Since then, he has not been seen or heard from and his whereabouts remain unknown.

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Minister Helena Mateus Kida
Honorable Minister of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs
Due to postal restrictions caused by COVID-19, please only send physical mail to the Embassy
Email: [email protected] [email protected]
Ambassador Carlos Dos Santos
Embassy of the Republic of Mozambique
1525 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington DC 20036
Phone: 202 293 7146 I Fax: 202 835 0245
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Minister Helena Mateus Kida,

According to local reports, on 7 April 2020, Ibraimo Abú Mbaruco, a community radio journalist at Palma Community Radio, was arbitrarily detained by military forces in Palma district, Cabo Delgado Province. Ibraimo Abú Mbaruco was on his motorbike on his way home from work at around 6 p.m. when military officers allegedly approached him. He had time to send a text message to a colleague before he was taken away, in which he said: “Call me, I am being disturbed by militaries”. Since then, he has not been seen or heard from and his whereabouts remain unknown.

The next day, Ibraimo Abú Mbaruco’s family members and colleagues went to the military barracks in Palma where officers told them to look for him at the police station. The family members and colleagues registered a complaint regarding his enforced disappearance with the Palma district administration and the district command of the Police of the Republic of Mozambique (PRM). They have not yet received a reply from the authorities.

I urge you to launch a prompt, thorough, impartial and effective investigation into the case to determine the whereabouts of the journalist, keeping his family fully informed at all times, and if he is under state custody, ensure he is safely and immediately released; put an end to the practice of enforced disappearances and ensure that every person arrested is adequately registered and enjoys the protection of the law; and ensure that the right to freedom of expression and media freedom are fully respected, protected, promoted and fulfilled and that journalists are able to freely carry out their work without fear of attacks, intimidation, harassment and censorship.

Yours sincerely,

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES