Mozambique denies journalist held under inhumane conditions

The journalist Amade Abubacar was reportedly being held at a military prison with no access to lawyers.
The journalist Amade Abubacar was reportedly being held at a military prison with no access to lawyers.
Image: Weerapat Kiatdumrong/123rf

A journalist detained in the volatile north of Mozambique is in good health, prosecutors have said, after Amnesty International described him as being in critical condition.

Amade Abubacar, who works for state-owned Comunitaria Nacedje de Macomia radio and TV in Cabo Delgado province, has been detained since January 5 on charges of espionage.

He was seized by police at a bus stop while conducting interviews and taking photographs of people fleeing militant attacks.

Amnesty said in a statement earlier this week that it had received "credible reports" that Abubacar had been mistreated and denied medical attention.

But the spokesman for the public prosecutor's office, Armando Wilson, was quoted by local media Thursday as saying the journalist "is in good health and not suffering from maltreatment".

On Wednesday, a group of journalists based in Pemba were allowed under escort to see their imprisoned colleague but were not allowed to interview him or take photographs.

He did not display any visible signs of poor health, said Jonas Wazir, one of the journalists who visited him.

President Filipe Nyusi is under growing pressure from local and international media watchdogs and rights organisations to free Abubacar.

Since October 2017, Islamist fighters have terrorised remote communities in the gas-rich, Muslim-majority Cabo Delgado region, killing around 200 people and forcing thousands from their homes.

Security forces waging the fight against the jihadists have been accused by campaigners of serious abuses, including summary executions and arbitrary detention.

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