IFJ condemns killing of journalist in Mozambique

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today condemned the killing of Paulo Machava, a senior Mozambican journalist who was shot dead this morning in the capital Maputo by unknown gunmen.

According to local media, the editor-in-chief of online newspaper Diário de Notícias was gunned down in Maputo city center between 5:30 and 6am this morning as he was out exercising before starting his work. Unidentified armed men shot him four times – two in the head and two in the back- from a car in Vladimir Lenine Avenue, one of the city’s main arteries, before driving away, the IFJ affiliated National Journalists’ Union said.The motive remains unclear. 

Media reported that Machava was leading a campaign supporting the economist Nuno Castel-Branco and journalists Fernando Veloso and Fernando Banze who are on trial. Mr. Castel-Branco faces national security charges while the two journalists are accused of press freedom abuses. Their cases arose from Castel-Branco’s open letter to former President Armando Guebuza which was posted on his Facebook page in 2013 and published by the journalists’ media outlets.

Paulo Machava was an experienced and very well-known journalist in the country who had previously worked for Rádio Moçambique and Savana weekly paper, the union added. He was a founder member of the IFJ’s affiliate in the country in 1978.

“We are saddened by this news and we join our affiliate in Mozambique in condemning the killing of Paulo Machava,” said the IFJ President, Jim Boumelha. “We urge the authorities to immediately open a fully transparent and rigorous investigation to clarify the cause of the killing and to identify the culprits and the mastermind so there will be no impunity for this outrageous murder. Our thoughts are with his beloved ones.”

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