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Mozambican CSO’s call for prisoners to have the right to vote

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Civil society organisations (CSO’s) have submitted a letter to Mozambique’s Ombudsman and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) requesting that prisoners be allowed to vote.

On Wednesday, 27 February 2019 the CSOs requested that “all necessary measures are taken so that all prisoners can register and vote,” specifically in reference to this year’s upcoming October general elections.

This statement was part of a letter signed by fifteen organisations and delivered to the Ombudsman as well as the NHRC.

They argued that denying prisoners the right to vote violated provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

The UDHR states that “[e]veryone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives (article 21.)”.

According to the CSOs, international conventions and the Mozambican constitution require that countries ensure prison conditions which, “minimize the differences between life in prison and life in freedom.”

The Mozambican constitution states that no punishment implies the loss of any civil, professional or political rights.


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