Mozambican reporter held for one month for 'defaming police officer' - report

2016-11-10 16:05


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Beira - A Mozambican correspondent for a German radio station has been held in police custody for a month on charges he defamed a police officer, Deutsche Welle has reported.

Supporters have been trying to raise 20 000 meticais (R3 479) bail for Arcenio Sebastiao. He was detained on October 10 in Dondo in Sofala province, which is near the coastal city of Beira. There were hopes he might be released on Wednesday: it's not clear if this has happened.

Deutsche Welle said local MISA watchdog officials had managed to speak to the reporter but every time "there was somebody listening in".

Authorities say the journalist was "in the act of committing a crime" after he apparently approached a policeman at a checkpoint. His camera and tape recorder were reportedly confiscated. Sebastiao's detention has been described as "very strange" by a MISA official.

With tensions between the ruling Frelimo party and Renamo opposition on the rise in central and northern Mozambique, the country can sometimes be a difficult place to work for journalists.

Gunmen shot at a car carrying three reporters in Manica province in August this year. Publisher Paolo Machava was shot dead in Maputo in August 2015 while out jogging in Maputo.

Read more on:    frelimo  |  renamo  |  mozambique  |  southern africa  |  media

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