Mozambique: Authorities must investigate ‘deplorable killing’ of newspaper editor
Authorities must conduct a thorough, impartial and effective investigation into the killing of journalist João Fernando Chamusse
Killing comes amidst a disturbing wave of death threats, intimidation, and harassment of journalists
‘Journalists in Mozambique must not be targeted for doing their legitimate work’ - Khanyo Farisé
Responding to the killing of the Mozambique journalist and newspaper editor João Fernando Chamusse on 14 December at his house in Maputo, Khanyo Farisé, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director, said:
“Amnesty condemns the deplorable killing of João Fernando Chamusse, which comes amidst a disturbing wave of death threats, intimidation, and harassment of journalists in Mozambique that is designed to silence dissent ahead of a general election next year.
“Mozambican authorities must conduct a prompt, thorough, impartial, independent, transparent and effective investigation into the killing, as well as ensure that those suspected of being responsible are brought to justice in fair trials. João Fernando Chamusse’s family must be provided with answers and access to justice and effective remedies.
“The Mozambican government must uphold the human rights of everyone and send a clear message that any attacks on human rights including the right to freedom of expression and media freedom will not be tolerated. Journalists and media houses in Mozambique must not be targeted for doing their legitimate work.”
Death threats and violence
Journalists in Mozambique routinely face intimidation, harassment, death threats, violence and even killing before, during and after elections. The country held local elections on 11 October, with a general election scheduled for 2024.
João Fernando Chamusse was the editor of the newspaper ‘Ponto por Ponto’ and a commentator on TV Sucesso, which has faced increasing intimidation. Its CEO Gabriel Júnior, received death threats recently. On 24 November, the day that the Constitutional Court validated the results of the local elections, an armoured police vehicle was parked at the entrance of TV Sucesso’s premises.
Amnesty documented significant human rights violations against human rights defenders, activists and journalists in Mozambique during the 2019 elections, see here.