The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) the Africa Group of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has Monday condemned the killing of the journalist Paulo Machava publisher of the online newspaper Diario de Noticias and called on the Government of Mozambique to investigate the killing and bring the perpetrators to justice.
According to the Sindicato Nacional de Jornalistas (SNJ) affiliated to FAJ and IFJ, Paulo Machava was killed by 6:00 hours on Friday morning (08.28.2015), by four gunshots on one of the major avenues of Maputo, the capital. At the time, he was out in the street doing his usual morning physical exercise before he goes to work. Mozambican police visited the site of the murder, but the authors and motives are not yet known.
“We condemn this barbaric murder and call on the Government of Mozambique to investigate and punish the perpetrators of this heinous crime” said Maria Luisa Rogerio de Carvalho, the Interim FAJ President.
As publisher Paulo Machava was no more a member of the SNJ, but was a founding member in 1978. He once worked at Radio Mozambique and weekly Savana. Paulo Machava was involved in organizing a demonstration against the judgment of the economist Nuno Castel-Branco and journalists Fernando Veloso and Fernando Banze, accused of undermining state security.
The case dated back to a letter that the economist Nuno Castel-Branco addressed to President Armando Guebuza, in November 2013 which was published in social media, and also in the media. Castel-Branco was charged with crime against state security while Fernando Veloso, editorial director of the weekly Mozambique Channel, and Fernando Banze, editor of the news agency Mediafax, were both charged with “abuse of freedom of the press and crime against state security.” The court ruling was scheduled for 31 August.
In 2000 Carlos Cardoso, editor of the newspaper Metical, was killed in Maputo after publishing investigative reports on corruption cases at a Mozambican bank. In 2003, six men were convicted for the murder, including one, Anibal dos Santos Junior, who was sentenced to 30 years, according to news reports. The son of then President Joaquim Chissano was also charged as the mastermind but died before the trial.
“We join the SNJ to express full solidarity with the family of Paulo Machava, and we urge the Government to protect the safety of journalists, put and end to impunity and promote freedom of the press and of expression in Mozambique.” Concluded Maria Luisa.