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Study: Independent Journalism Is Under “Pressure” and “Tight Control” in Mozambique

Study: Independent Journalism Is Under “Pressure” and “Tight Control” in Mozambique

The International Press Institute (IPI) revealed in a report presented yesterday, Tuesday, December 13, that independent media in Mozambique are under “pressure” and subject to “strong government controls and political interference.”

“One of the main conclusions of a four-day mission to Mozambique was that journalism is under pressure,” IPI says in the study conducted on the ground in August and now published.

According to the report, several journalists and Mozambican civil society groups expressed concern about the “diminishing space” for action and “worsening climate” for independent journalism in the country “since the President of the Republic, Filipe Nyusi, took office in 2015.”

IPI also denounced the “constant erosion of the already fragile press freedom environment,” restrictions on access to information and independent coverage of issues of public interest, such as corruption and armed violence in Cabo Delgado.

“Rapid action is needed in order to strengthen the protection of press freedom and support for key democratic institutions in Mozambique,” the institution said.

For the institute, the Mozambican media operates under an “uncertain and unclear” legal and regulatory environment, whose implementation is diminished, which contributes to “increasing restrictions on press freedom”.

“The implementation of these guarantees is weak and the press in Mozambique is instead subject to strong informal government controls and political interference,” IPI emphasized.

The institution also expressed concern about the “pattern of impunity” that exists regarding physical attacks, harassment and threats to journalists in Mozambique as the country’s election period approaches, in which “journalists should be free to cover without fear of threats, retaliation or physical harm.”

The International Press Institute calls on the Mozambican government to consider its recommendations and the feedback from national and international stakeholders in the debate on drafts to update the 1991 Press Law to “ensure that the legislation aligns with national and international press freedom commitments and principles.”

“Of paramount importance is the need to ensure the existence of strong legal safeguards to guarantee the independence of media regulation in Mozambique,” the institution concluded.

For the institute, the Mozambican media operates under an “uncertain and unclear” legal and regulatory environment, whose implementation is diminished, which contributes to “increasing restrictions on press freedom”.

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