Posted on February 01, 2016
The Centre for Human Rights in the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria (UP) has noted, with great dismay, the reported attempt on the life of Manuel Bissopo, Secretary-General of the Mozambican National Resistance Party (Renamo), the official opposition in Mozambique. It is reported that Bissopo was shot and his bodyguard killed in Beira on the same day that he denounced the Mozambican Security Services for having abducted and killed members of Renamo extra-judicially.
This incident is greatly worrying as it forms part of a series of similar shootings of outspoken opponents of the government. On 3 March 2015, esteemed Mozambican academic, Prof Gilles Cistac, was assassinated by unknown gunmen on the streets of Maputo. Acting as advisor to Renamo, Prof Cistac spoke out in favour of federalism and decentralisation, arguing that such options are compatible with the country’s constitution. Prof Cistac was a staff member of the Faculty of Law of Eduardo Mondlane University, with which the UP Centre for Human Rights collaborates in presenting its master’s programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa.
The Centre is concerned that, almost a year after his killing, the ongoing investigation has still not yielded any results.
We have submitted a letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, urging him to take up this matter with the Mozambican government.
We request that the Government of Mozambique complete its investigation into Prof Cistac’s death, based on the principle of independence and impartiality and in keeping with the maxim that justice delayed is justice denied.
We also request that the South African government take note of this trend, and engages with and, if needs be, support its counterparts in the government of Mozambique to bring to justice the perpetrators of these killings.
For more information, please contact:
Prof Frans Viljoen
Director: Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
Tel: +27 (0)12 420 3228
Email: [email protected]
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