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IFJ insists on the release of Mozambican journalist

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On Tuesday, 12 May 2020 the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) called on the Mozambican government to ensure the safe release of a journalist kidnapped by the army more than a month ago in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

Community radio reporter Palma, Ibraimo Abu Mabaruco, was reportedly arrested by soldiers on the night of April 7 after leaving his office and has not been seen since.

IFJ Secretary General Anthony Bellanger described the arrest and secret detention as illegal and enforced disappearance.

“The journalist posed no threat to the military or the security forces and did his work in the public interest … The government of Mozambique must immediately stop these illegal arrests of journalists by the military,” said Bellanger in a press release.

He called on the Mozambican authorities to “guarantee the safety and security of journalists in the country and to immediately release our colleague”.

According to the Mozambican section of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), Mabaruco sent an SMS to his colleagues on the day of the abduction explaining that he was “surrounded by soldiers”.

MISA also said that a police officer based at the Palma district police command told the media watchdog that “it was the Mozambican armed forces who kidnapped the journalist.”

The police officer said he “knew the journalist had been taken from Palma to Mueda where the armed forces have an interrogation room,” according to MISA.

Several journalists have been harassed, intimidated, arrested and detained in the province of Cabo Delgado where the Mozambican security forces are fighting against an armed insurrection.


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