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Mozambique: Journalist held at gunpoint and threatened with death for doing his job

In response to the death threats made against Aunício da Silva, an investigative journalist and editor of Ikweli, a weekly publication in Nampula City in the north of Mozambique, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena, said:

“Aunício da Silva’s life has been threatened simply because he was doing his job as an investigative journalist: holding the powerful to account.

“This incident represents yet another attack on media freedom in Mozambique and sends a chilling message to journalists across the country to stay silent or face the consequences.

“Journalism is not a crime. Mozambican authorities must protect the profession by urgently investigating these threats against Aunício. Anyone found to be criminally responsible for threatening and harassing journalists must be brought to justice in a fair trial.”

Background

Late on Saturday, 2 December 2017, a gunman threatened to kill Aunício da Silva, an investigative journalist and editor of Ikweli, a weekly publication in Nampula City in the north of Mozambique. He accused da Silva of publishing articles that tarnished the image of Carlos Saíde, the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) candidate for the Nampula City mayoral by-election scheduled to take place on 24 January 2018.

On 4 October, the mayor of Nampula City, Mahamudo Amurane, was assassinated by unidentified gunmen. This followed his disagreements with the leadership of the MDM for insisting on clean governance and his fight against corruption..

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
AMNESTY INTERNATIONALhttp://www.amnesty.org
Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 7 million people who take injustice personally. We are campaigning for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. We are funded by members and people like you. We are independent of any political ideology, economic interest or religion. No government is beyond scrutiny. No situation is beyond hope. Few would have predicted when we started that torturers would become international outlaws. That most countries would abolish the death penalty. And seemingly untouchable dictators would be made to answer for their crimes. In 1961, British lawyer Peter Benenson was outraged when two Portuguese students were jailed just for raising a toast to freedom. He wrote an article in The Observer newspaper and launched a campaign that provoked an incredible response. Reprinted in newspapers across the world, his call to action sparked the idea that people everywhere can unite in solidarity for justice and freedom. This inspiring moment didn’t just give birth to an extraordinary movement, it was the start of extraordinary social change. Only when the last prisoner of conscience has been freed, when the last torture chamber has been closed, when the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a reality for the world’s people, will our work be done.
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