Mozambique: Journalist held at gunpoint and threatened with death for doing his job

In response to the death threats made against Aunício da Silva, an investigative journalist and editor of Ikweli, a weekly publication in Nampula City in the north of Mozambique, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena, said:

Aunício da Silva’s life has been threatened simply because he was doing his job as an investigative journalist: holding the powerful to account
Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for Southern Africa

“Aunício da Silva’s life has been threatened simply because he was doing his job as an investigative journalist: holding the powerful to account.

“This incident represents yet another attack on media freedom in Mozambique and sends a chilling message to journalists across the country to stay silent or face the consequences.

Aunício da Silva’s life has been threatened simply because he was doing his job as an investigative journalist
Deprose Muchena

“Journalism is not a crime. Mozambican authorities must protect the profession by urgently investigating these threats against Aunício. Anyone found to be criminally responsible for threatening and harassing journalists must be brought to justice in a fair trial.” 

Background

Late on Saturday, 2 December 2017, a gunman threatened to kill Aunício da Silva, an investigative journalist and editor of Ikweli, a weekly publication in Nampula City in the north of Mozambique. He accused da Silva of publishing articles that tarnished the image of Carlos Saíde, the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) candidate for the Nampula City mayoral by-election scheduled to take place on 24 January 2018.

On 4 October, the mayor of Nampula City, Mahamudo Amurane, was assassinated by unidentified gunmen. This followed his disagreements with the leadership of the MDM for insisting on clean governance and his fight against corruption.