Mozambique: Canal de Mocambique newsroom torched

The offices of Canal de Mocambique were attacked and set alight by unknown individuals around 8:00 pm on Sunday, 23 August, burning office equipment, furniture and other relevant documents to ashes. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the Sindicato Nacional de Jornalistas (SNJ) Mozambique, in condemning this horrendous and cowardly act.

According to local reports in the region, Canal de Mocambique offices were attacked with Molotov cocktails. It is believed they were specifically targeted because of the paper's critical reports on corruption and most recently its reports on “disputes of the fuel business” in the country.

In a statement the SNJ said this atrocious act “constitutes an attack on press freedom and freedom of expression” in Mozambique. “This action is aimed at silencing not only journalists from Canal de Mocambique, but the entire class of journalists through intimidation which constitute a violation of the constitution”.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, described it as a cowardly act designed to silence the newspaper because of its critical reports. “The perpetrators of this heinous crime are definitely those who feel aggrieved by the reports of the newspaper and have erroneously decided to take the law into their own hands by resorting to violence and banditry. Such deplorable acts of criminality must be condemned by all citizens as it derails democratic gains and undermines the rule of law and good governance”.

The IFJ backed the SNJ in calling on the Government of Mozambique to do everything possible to ensure that the perpetrators are identified, arrested and brought to justice. The Government of Mozambique must also ensure that Canal de Mocambique are fully compensated with regards to all the equipment that they have lost as well as the office furniture and documents.

For more Information, please contact the IFJ - Africa Office

1st Floor, Maison de la Presse, 5 Rue X Corniche, Medina,

BP 64257, Dakar, Senegal

Tel: +221- 33 867 95 86/87; Fax: +221- 33 827 02