Mozambique must swiftly investigate journalist’s murder
The Mozambique journalist Joao Chamusse was on Thursday morning killed outside his house in the capital Maputo, the latest in a string of attacks against the media in the Southern African country.
Chamusse was the co-owner and editor of the online daily publication Ponto por Ponto.
The police are yet to release a statement on Chamusse’s killing, with questions raised on the motive behind the attack. The journalist’s mobile phone and laptop are yet to be accounted for.
In a statement, MISA Mozambique said it condemned the killing of the journalist, describing it as a “setback for democratic country, where the media is a fundamental pillar”.
MISA Mozambique urged the police to act quickly in bringing those responsible for the murder to account, as this would send a message to would-be perpetrators that impunity for crimes against journalists would not be tolerated.
The killing of Chamusse follows the enforced disappearance of Ibraimo Mbaruco, who has not been accounted for since 2020.
In 2015, the journalist Paulo Machava was killed in a drive by shooting while on his way home.
MISA strongly condemns the killing of Chamusse and demands that the authorities prioritise the investigations leading to his death.
With all the unsolved cases on attacks against media workers, MISA fears that a culture of impunity for crimes against journalists is being entrenched in Mozambique.
If this case is left unsolved, as previous cases, it will only help to embolden would-be perpetrators of crimes against journalists.
Impunity for crimes against journalists deters freedom of expression and of the media, leading to the demise of democracy, as these rights are critical to public participation and civic engagement.
MISA seeks to remind Mozambican authorities that, under both domestic and international law, they have a responsibility to promote comprehensive prevention, protection and justice policies to address impunity for crimes against journalists.
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1992. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.
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journalist Joao Chamusse