Amnesty International calls for release of detained Mozambican community radio journalist

…..or have him charged with a recognizable offence

Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena has called for the immediate release or recognisable charge of Mozambican journalist and Prisoner of Conscience, Amade Abubacar who marks 90-days in pretrial detention,

The regional human rights body made the following observations and recommendations in a press statement released Friday.

“Mozambican authorities are treating Amade Abubacar like a convicted criminal by prolonging his pretrial detention without bringing any legitimate charges against him in violation of national and international law.

“The continued detention of Amade – whose wife and children have not been able to visit him – is against the principle of being innocent until proven guilty.

“Amade must either be charged with a recognizable criminal offence or released immediately and allowed to do his job without fear of reprisals. Mozambican authorities must support media freedom, instead of criminalizing journalists.”

Amade Abubacar is a journalist at the Nacedje Community Radio in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. He was arrested on 5 January when he was interviewing a group of displaced people who fled their homes due to the intensification of violent attacks carried out by people believed to be members of an extremist group, popularly known as “Al Shabab”. The attacks have escalated since the beginning of October 2017, with more than 100 people killed and hundreds of others having fled their homes.

As part of what seems to be a strategy to suppress media attention on the attacks, Mozambican authorities have arbitrarily detained journalists who have reported the story.