The Lawyer and television commentator of the STV, Erecino de Salema is leaving Maputo to continue with his treatment outside of the country.
Adamo Halde/ Insight Africa
The kidnapping and torture of the lawyer and television commentator of the STV (the largest private Mozambican channel), Erecino de Salema, late in the morning of March 27 in Maputo, and the physical assault three days later on Zito Ossumane, editor of the weekly Txopela, published in Zambezia province, central Mozambique, has once again raised the issue of freedom of expression in the country, where cases of violence against journalists and political analysts are common.
Following these two cases of violence, civil society organizations condemned the worsening threat to the fundamental freedoms of citizens in Mozambique. These organizations submitted on Tuesday, 3, a petition to the Assembly of the Republic to request an intervention to end the attacks on fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens. “We want to say enough of this wave of intimidation and impunity. We want Parliament to be the spokesperson for our concern and to activate the action of the other organs of the State,” explained Zélia Menete, spokeswoman for the document’s authors.
In another meeting held this Tuesday in the capital Maputo, called the Human Rights Forum, Ombudsman José Abudo demanded that the police authorities clarify the kidnapping of Ericino de Salema, the assault on Zito Ossumane, as well as several other cases of violence against journalists and political analysts. “Ericino de Salema is a human rights defender. He was kidnapped and mistreated for defending democracy. We want to clarify this case and others that our police say they are investigating, and that to this day have not yet been clarified, “he said.
Reacting to the kidnapping and torture of Ericino de Salema, political analyst José Jaime Macuane, kidnapped and shot in 2016, while still a commentator on the Ponto de Vista program at the STV, said that with yet another case of violence it is clear that in Mozambique there is no rule of law guaranteeing the fundamental freedoms of its citizens.
These cases are a series of cases of violence begun in 2015 with the murder of Franco-Mozambican Gilles Cistac in the center of the Mozambican capital, after publicly considered that there was no constitutional impediment to the claim of the largest opposition party, Renamo, of create autonomous provincial governments where they have won the last general elections.