Urgent Action Update: Journalist Charged with Criminal Offenses (Mozambique: UA 1.19)
September 13, 2019
On 5 September 2019, journalist Amade Abubacar and his lawyer were notified by the Office of the Public Prosecutor of Cabo Delgado Province of final charges against him. On 10 September, the defense presented a response to the accusation. The Cabo Delgado Provincial Court will now decide whether to accept the charges against Amade or withdraw the accusations against him.
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Joaquim Veríssimo Minister of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs
Av. Julius Nyerere 33
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]
Salutation: Honorable Minister
Ambassador 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 Honorable Minister Joaquim Veríssimo,
On 5 September 2019, Amade Abubacar, a journalist with Nacedje Community Radio, and his lawyer were notified by the Office of the Public Prosecutor of Cabo Delgado Province of final charges against him. The charges include, “public instigation through the use of electronic media”, “instigation”, “slander against forces of public order”, “association to commit an offense”, “crime against State organization”, “instigation or provocation to public disorder” and “order and public peace” respectively under articles 323, 406, 458, §1, 389, 398, §1 and 401, §2 of Mozambique’s Penal Code.
On 10 September, Amade’s defense presented a response to the final accusation brought by the Office of the Public Prosecutor of Cabo Delgado Province. The Cabo Delgado Provincial Court will now decide whether to accept the charges against Amade or withdraw the case against him.
Amade Abubacar has been prevented from accessing his bank account as his bank card and ID card were confiscated during his arrest. The criminal proceedings against him have been prolonged and his freedom of movement continues to be restricted. This has caused a strain on him and his family.
I urge you to ensure that all the charges against Amade Abubacar are dropped immediately as he has been charged solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression while working as a journalist. I call on you to ensure that Amade’s fair trial rights are respected and that, if charges are not dropped, he is tried within a reasonable time as recognized under international fair trial standards. Finally, I urge you to guarantee that the right to freedom of expression and media freedom are fully respected and protected and that journalists can carry out their work without fear of attack, intimidation, or harassment.