Responding to the killing of the journalist and newspaper editor João Fernando Chamusse on 14 December at his house in Maputo, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director, Khanyo Farisé, said:
“Amnesty International condemns the deplorable killing of João Fernando Chamusse, which comes amid a disturbing wave of death threats, intimidation, and harassment of journalists in Mozambique that is designed to silence dissent ahead of a general election next year.
“Mozambican authorities must conduct a prompt, thorough, impartial, independent, transparent and effective investigation into the killing, as well as ensure that those suspected to be responsible are brought to justice in a fair trials. João Fernando Chamusse’s family must be provided with answers and access to justice and effective remedies.
“The Mozambican government must uphold the human rights of everyone and send a clear message that any attacks on human rights including the right to freedom of expression and media freedom will not be tolerated. Journalists and media houses in Mozambique must not be targeted for doing their legitimate work.”
Journalists in Mozambique routinely face intimidation, harassment, death threats, violence and even killing before, during and after elections. The country held local elections on 11 October 2023, with a general election scheduled for 2024.
João Fernando Chamusse was the editor of the newspaper Ponto por Ponto and a commentator on TV Sucesso, which has faced increasing intimidation. Its CEO Gabriel Júnior, received death threats recently. On 24 November, the day that the Constitutional Court validated the results of the local elections, an armoured Police vehicle was parked at the entrance of TV Sucesso premises.
Amnesty International documented significant human rights violations against human rights defenders, activists and journalists in Mozambique during the 2019 elections here: Mozambique: Elections period clouded by attacks on civil society leaders, activists and journalists (amnesty.org)
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Amnesty International.