06/28/2019

Urgent Action Update: Journalist’s Hearing Adjourned Again (Mozambique: UA 1.19)


For the third time now, the Cabo Delgado Provincial Court postponed the pre-trial hearing of journalist Amade Abubacar scheduled for 27 June due to a clerical error. Amade is awaiting trial for charges of “public incitement of a crime through electronic media”, “incitement” and “injury against public forces officials”. His pre-trial hearing is now set for 25 July.

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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 the case of Amade Abubacar, a radio journalist with Nacedje community radio based in Macomia district, Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique.

Amade’s pre-trial hearing, which was scheduled for 27 June before the Cabo Delgado Provincial Court, was postponed allegedly due to a clerical error. This is the third time his pre-trial hearing has been postponed. The first hearing, scheduled for 17 May, was postponed to 23 May due to a conflicting appointment in the judge’s agenda. On 23 May, the Cabo Delgado Provincial Court adjourned the hearing to 27 June because the wrong witnesses had been brought to the Court. The pre-trial hearing has now been scheduled for 25 July.

On 23 April Amade Abubacar was granted provisional release from Miezi prison in Pemba City by the Cabo Delgado Provincial Court. He is still facing charges for the 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 arrested 5 January while interviewing internally displaced people (IDPs) who had fled their homes due to the intensification of violent attacks carried out by people believed to be members of an extremist group known as Al-Shabaab.

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 Amade Abubacar’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; 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