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Niassa magistrates and prosecutors feel threatened. [Photo: DW]
A cry for help is emerging in one of Mozambique’s northern provinces after an armed attack on a district court judge, with the province’s governor claiming that police numbers are insufficient to combat crime.
Magistrates and prosecutors in Niassa, northern Mozambique, are seeking police protection. During a recent meeting with provincial governor Francisca Domingos Tomás, officials at the Niassa Public Prosecutor’s Office said they were the object of death threats by unknown people, and asked the provincial government to ensure the safety of judges and prosecutors.
Officials have reported that the phenomenon [of death threats] has been frequent in recent days.
“We are threatened. It is not only the magistrates who are being threatened. On the basis of simply knowing that we are employees of the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office or that someone works with Justice, they make threats. We run the same risks, all of us, right to the least person in the institution. We want to hear from the government what measures are being taken to protect every last employee who works with Justice,” says Tomás Augusto, a criminal prosecution official.
Governor Francisca Domingos Tomás has said he sympathises, but could not promise to solve the problem in the short term because of the lack of police officers. Governor Tomás says the number of police agents is insufficient to respond to the challenge of crime in the province.
“We were very sad when we heard that our magistrate was attacked by criminals. This has not been our way of going about things, but the criminals are trying at all costs to disrupt our work. We told the police to find the perpetrators, because it is a smear on the performance of our government and the performance of our PRM [Police of the Republic of Mozambique],” Governor Tomas says.
“We want to show solidarity with all magistrates and to affirm that the provincial government will continue to work on the protection of all our magistrates. We will be attentive to similar situations and will continue to work together. Do not feel isolated. We are together in this war against the criminals,” she added.
Wave of awe
The atmosphere of fear was aggravated by the attack on the Judge-President of the District Judicial Court of Cuamba in the Vila Autárquica de Cuamba on June 13. Judge Bolis Júlio and his family escaped unharmed.
Provincial police commander Arnaldo Chefo has said that the police are making every effort to throw light on the incident.
“We will continue to protect the residences and colleagues in the performance of their duties. We have said that anyone who feels threatened should get in touch with us,” he said. “We always have teams to help and intervene in any situation.”
“It’s just a question of giving us a signal and we will be there to help. As to the case of the magistrate who was attacked, the investigation is ongoing and we will clarify matters in due course,” Chefo concluded.Source: Deutsche Welle
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