04/18/2019

Urgent Action Update: Detained Journalist Formally Charged (Mozambique: UA 1.19)


Journalist Amade Abubacar has formally been charged with the crimes of “public incitement of a crime using electronic media”, “incitement” and “outrage against public forces officials”, under articles 323, 393 and 406 of Mozambique’s Penal Code.

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Joaquim Veríssimo
Minister of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs
Av. Julius Nyerere 33
Maputo, Mozambique
Email: [email protected] and [email protected]
Salutation: Honorable Minister
H.E. Carlos Dos Santos
The 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 Honourable Minister Joaquim Veríssimo,

I would like to bring to your attention the case of Amade Abubacar, a radio journalist with Nacedje community radio based in Macomia district, Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique.

On 16 April, Amade Abubacar was officially charged with the crimes of “public incitement of a crime using electronic media”, “incitement” and “outrage against public forces officials”, under articles 323, 393 and 406 of Mozambique’s Penal Code.

Amade has been in arbitrary detention since 5 January, when he was arrested by police officers in Macomia district without a warrant. At the time of his arrest, Amade was interviewing people who fled their homes due to the intensification of violent attacks carried out by individuals believed to be members of an extremist group. Amade was held incommunicado by the military for 12 days, during which time he alleges he was subjected to different forms of ill-treatment which may amount to torture.

He was first brought before court on 18 January which was beyond the 48 hours limit set by law for a person to be brought to court after arrest. Amade was in pre-trial detention for more than 90 days before being formally charged. Article 308 of the Criminal Procedural Code states that a person cannot be held in pre-trial detention for more than 90 days after their arrest.

I urge you to ensure all the charges against Amade Abubacar are dropped and that he is immediately and unconditionally released as he is being detained solely for his work as a journalist; ensure that, pending his release, Amade Abubacar is regularly brought before a judge and 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 proper health care; ensure that he is given prompt access to 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 attack, intimidation or harassment.

Yours sincerely,

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES