JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (ADV) – Mozambique has remained tight-lipped following a request by UN Human Rights experts in Geneva who called for the Southern African country to immediate release journalist Amade Abubacar.
Amade is a community radio journalist for the state-owned Rádio e Televisao Comunitária Nacedje de Macomia in northern Cabo Delgado province.
He was arrested more than three weeks ago at a bus station in Macomia on January 5 while he was photographing families who have fled militant attacks in the coastal province, according to an emailed newsletter on January 7 by the independent Zitamar News, for which Amade is also a correspondent.
“The authorities in Mozambique must immediately release the journalist Amade Abubacar and investigate allegations that he has been ill-treated,” UN independent rapporteurs said in a statement.
Last week, David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion, and Seong-Phil Hong, Secretary-General of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions made the plea on Amade’s release.
“At a time of rising threats to journalists and independent media, Amade Abubacar’s arrest and “the allegations of his ill-treatment are extremely worrying,” Kaye said.
According to media reports, the experts say that “this alleged arbitrary arrest and ill-treatment, which appears to be directly related to Mr. Abubacar’s work as a journalist, could have a chilling effect on the exercise of the right to freedom of expression in Mozambique.”
Unconfirmed reports by Committee for the Protection of Journalists suggest that Amade was transferred on Thursday from a police station in the village of Macomia, where he lives, to another station in Pemba, the provincial capital of Cabo Delgado.
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