CPJ calls for probe into police attack on Mozambique journalists

APA-Maputo (Mozambique)

Global media watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists has called on Mozambican authorities to investigate and hold to account police officers who assaulted two broadcast reporters earlier this month.

Alexandre Eusébio and Ivaldo Novela, who are reporters for privately owned broadcaster Tua Televisão, were on August 4 assaulted in Maputo by five officers of Mozambique’s National Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC) while covering the funeral of a police officer who had committed suicide. 

The officers also broke the journalists’ equipment during the assault, according to the journalists.

“The unprovoked assault by police on journalists Alexandre Eusébio and Ivaldo Novela while they were reporting on the funeral of a police officer must be thoroughly investigated and acted upon to stop an apparent culture of impunity for attacks on members of the press in Mozambique,” said CPJ’s Africa program coordinator, Angela Quintal on Tuesday. 

She added: “In addition to holding the officers accountable for their actions, authorities must also compensate Eusébio and Novela for their broken equipment and ensure that journalists are able to report freely without risk of attack by those who have taken an oath to serve and protect citizens.”

Eusébio told CPJ that he and Novela were clearly identified as journalists with their press cards visible. In addition, Novela was carrying a television camera and Eusébio a microphone.

“They (the attackers) were in plain clothes but identified themselves as police, yelling at us that we could not record there. They got angry when we said we had the family’s authorization and started to push us,” Eusébio is quoted as saying.  

CPJ expressed concern at the rise in documented police assaults on reporters in Mozambique, noting that at least nine journalists were attacked in the country in 2021.


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