The Committee to Protect Journalists and 14 other human rights and freedom of expression organisations sent an open letter to Pope Francis on the eve of his three-day visit to Mozambique, urging the pontiff to publicly support the protection and promotion of human rights as the country prepares for its general elections on October 15.
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The letter notes that there has been an increasing crackdown on human rights in Mozambique, including the January arrest and prolonged detention of community radio journalist Amade Abubacar; the intimidation and harassment of journalists working for Catholic broadcasters during last year’s municipal election; the arrest of journalist Estacio Valoi and researcher David Matsinhe in December 2018; and the abduction and assault of journalist and human rights lawyer Ercino de Salema last March.
The letter urges Pope Francis to raise these concerns with the government of Mozambique and reiterate to President Filipe Nyusi that journalists, researchers, and lawyers should be free to carry out their work without fear of attacks, intimidation, or harassment.
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