Amnesty International condemns killing of Mozambican journalist João Fernando Chamusse, calls for urgent investigation

In response to the tragic killing of journalist and newspaper editor João Fernando Chamusse on December 14th at his residence in Maputo, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director, Khanyo Farisé, issued a strong statement condemning the incident.

Farisé expressed deep concern over the growing wave of threats, intimidation, and harassment targeting journalists in Mozambique, aimed at stifling dissent in the lead-up to the upcoming general election next year.

“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,” stated Farisé.

The human rights organization called on Mozambican authorities to initiate a prompt, thorough, impartial, independent, transparent, and effective investigation into Chamusse’s killing. Additionally, they urged authorities to ensure that those suspected of involvement are brought to justice through fair trials. Farisé emphasized the importance of providing answers and access to justice for Chamusse’s family.

“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,” added Farisé.

Journalists in Mozambique routinely face intimidation, harassment, death threats, and violence, particularly during election periods. The country recently held local elections on October 11, 2023, with a general election scheduled for 2024.

Chamusse, the editor of the newspaper Ponto por Ponto and a commentator on TV Sucesso, experienced increasing intimidation.

The CEO of TV Sucesso, Gabriel Júnior, also received death threats. On November 24, the day the Constitutional Court validated the results of the local elections, an armored police vehicle was stationed at the entrance of TV Sucesso premises.

Amnesty International highlighted significant human rights violations against human rights defenders, activists, and journalists in Mozambique during the 2019 elections. Read more about the documented violations.

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