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Estácio Valói - Photojournalist (O País)
Photojournalist Estácio Valói told DW that, along with researcher David Matsinhe and his assistant, they intend to prosecute the military who detained them for two days in the Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique.
In Mozambique, photojournalist Estácio Valói, researcher David Matsinhe and his assistant were released on Tuesday afternoon. The three were in military custody for about 48 hours in the northern province of Cabo Delgado after having been working in the region between the districts of Palma and Mocímboa da Praia.
However, the work equipment and mobile phones seized by the military were not returned to them. They consider bringing an action against the military brigade in question for violation of their rights.
DW Africa: Can you tell us the circumstances in which you were detained?
Estácio Valói (EV): We were detained in ambush by the National Defense Forces, 15 kilometers from Palma, on the main road. As we approached, a group of more than 20 members of the military ordered us to stop, pointing their guns at us, they came to us and told us to leave aggressively: “Get out of the car, get out of the car! We were looking for you. We have orders from your superiors,the same ones who said you could go to Chitolo, are the same people who told us to come after you here. “They had their weapons and they asked us for our cameras and our computers? ”
They went directly to my cameras, they also confiscated my computer. At the same time, we still had the telephones in our hands, we displayed the credential, which we delivered to them. At the same time, another battalion with more than 30 soldiers was coming and behind them came the commander-general of that area in one of the armored vehicles. When he arrived, the scenery got worse. He told us, “You are not welcome here.” Then two soldiers got in our car, and took us back to Quelimane Elementary School. When we got there, they turned to us and said we had to show what was on the phones. We refused and one of the captains came and said, “You have no right here. We will withdraw all your rights. It is good that you give us the passwords of all these machines, otherwise, here we do not play with anyone “. He continued: “Here you are going to die, because this zone is under our protection. You will die and noone will not know how and why you died.”
DW África: The information that came through the press and the information agencies indicates that Estácio Valói traveled with three foreign journalists. Do you confirm that?
EV: Not exactly three foreign journalists. The only journalist there was me. We have the investigator from Amnesty International, who is David Matsinhe, and one of our assistants, who is a driver. It was the three of us.
DW África: Do you know if Matsinhe was allowed to do research for Amnesty International?
EV: Matsinhe was authorized to do research at the invitation of the Mozambican Center for Investigative Journalism. We were not there to do a job for Amnesty International. Dr. Matsinhe is an academic, a researcher in the social field. So as we came to look at the social area, we thought it would be best to invite him to join the Mozambican Investigative Journalism Center, which he attended and came here and went to do it together.
DW África: Personally, not on behalf of Amnesty International?
EV: Yes, he he came here on his behalf not on behalf of Amnesty International.
DW África: Your equipment was not returned to you, what steps did you take to recover this material?
EV: We have some lawyers who will contact the Ministry of the Interior, because that is what they said: “Do you want your equipment? You will have to wait. Contact the Ministry of Interior. ” That is, the same Ministry of the Interior that authorized us to enter Chitolo. So now we are in this whole process
DW África: In the face of this dubious performance of the Defense and Security Forces, do you intend to file suit against these military personnel?
EV: This is an issue that we can not disagree with. Yes, we are going to bring an action against these military men, because we think we are in a state of law. Far more than freedom of the press is expression. And the treatment we had was a death threat.Source: DW