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Amnesty International (AI) yesterday said that abductions and attacks on political analysts in Mozambique reveal the emergence of a society that does not respect freedom of thought, and warn of the emergence of a “culture of fear”.
“We have been following the abductions and torture of human rights defenders, and Amnesty International’s position remains the same: that they are indicative of a society that has no respect for human rights,” Amnesty Lusophone researcher for Southern Africa David Matsinhe said at an Amnesty event in Maputo.
The latest case of abduction and assault involves journalist Ericino de Salema, a television commentator who was found seriously injured in the bush in Marracuene district, eight kilometres from the centre of Maputo occurred on Tuesday.
Amnesty says recurrent abductions and attacks on human rights defenders in Mozambique are instilling a culture of fear, and the lack of a response from the government makes the situation more serious and unpredictable.
“What happened to Ericino de Salema is part of a trend in the country,” Matsinhe said, reiterating that people should be free to express their opinions and that the responsibility to ensure their safety lay with the government.
“We advocate a society in which people can speak out and criticise, elements without which we do not see any country develop,” Matsinhe concluded.
De Salema, a commentator on “Points of View” (“Pontos de Vista”), a popular political analysis programme, was abducted outside the National Union of Journalists, and was found in the same place where José Jaime Macuane, political scientist and commentator on the same programme, was abandoned in 2016 after being kidnapped and shot in the legs, also by strangers.
De Salema was found by locals, who took him to Maputo Private Hospital, where he is receiving treatment.
Maputo police spokesman Orlando Modumane said at a press conference on Tuesday that an investigation was under way, without offering any further information.
De Salema has worked with several Mozambican media outlets, but in recent years has been linked mainly with non-governmental organisations involved in strengthening civil society and promoting freedom of expression and the press.Source: Lusa
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