04/30/2019

Urgent Action Update: Journalist Granted Provisional Release (Mozambique: UA 1.19)


Journalist Amade Abubacar was granted provisional release from Mieze Prison in Pemba City on 23 April. He is back home with his family awaiting trial for charges of “public incitement of a crime through electronic media”, “incitement” and “injury against public forces officials”. A date for his trial is yet to be set.

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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 Honorable Minister Joaquim Veríssimo,

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

On 23 April, journalist Amade Abubacar was granted provisional release from Miezi prison in Pemba City by the Cabo Delgado Provincial Court. His lawyer had filed a bail application on his behalf on 26 February at the same Court.

Amade is still facing charges for the crimes of crimes of “public incitement of a crime through electronic media”, “incitement” and “injury against public officials”, under articles 323, 393 and 406 of Mozambique’s Penal Code. He was held 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.

A date is yet to be set for his trial.

Amade was arrested on 5 January 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, the Al-Shabaab. 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.

I urge you to ensure all the charges against Amade Abubacar are dropped immediately as he has been charged solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression while working as a journalist; 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