Rights group slams arson attack on Mozambique media house

APA-Maputo (Mozambique)

A group of unknown assailants torched the offices of Maputo-based Canal de Moçambique on Sunday night in a development condemned by a media freedom rights group.

According to the Mozambique chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), unknown individuals broke into the offices of the newspaper “and put in two 20-liter fuel drums and then set fire before leaving the site.”

“The fire completely destroyed the newsroom, the archive, the furniture and all the equipment used for the production of the Canal de Moçambique, calling into question the production of the August 26 edition of the newspaper,” MISA Mozambique said on Monday.

The watchdog said the attack “should never be seen in isolation from the context of a global strategy, set in motion by the most backward forces of our society, to reverse the democratic process in Mozambique by shaking the pillars that sustain it.”

It noted with concern what it saw as the regularity of attacks on media personnel as well as the lack of action by the authorities.

“The regularity and impunity with which these acts have been taking place may suggest that criminals have strong links with important sectors in the state hierarchy,” MISA Mozambique said.

Several Mozambican journalists have been harassed or abducted in recent years, especially those documenting attacks by armed groups against civilians in the mineral-rich Cabo Delgado province.


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