Institutions still did not have organisational structures that allowed for a more
flexible and simplified exchange of information with the public. For example,
although many had web pages, they did
not contain relevant information for citizens, and also, few had a regular update
routine, which meant that they were not
relevant to the flow of and access to information.

In the year under review, Mozambique
began an electoral cycle (municipal
elections in 2018 and general elections in 2019). The electoral periods
have proven to be troubled moments
for media houses. First, because in these
periods the press, including journalists
themselves, are often controlled and
silenced by the ruling party, through
funds from state institutions, both in advertising and in other forms of financing.
Second, there is always a tendency to
threaten journalists and their relatively
independent media houses and to lump
them together with the opposition and
with the ‘hand of outsiders’ just because
they do not appear to be in agreement
with the incumbent political party.

In the year 2017, more than 20 cases of
violations of press freedom were recorded, most of which consisted of threats
and intimidation, confiscation of work
equipment and assaults.
During the reporting period, four cases
of assault and two cases of confiscation
of work equipment and several cases of
threats and intimidation were reported
(see below section on violations and


So This is Democracy? 2017

As of January 2017, Mozambique had a
law on electronic transactions. Although
not directly, this law was seen by many
as an instrument to control and intimidate critics, as it provides for criminal
accountability of people who circulate offensive messages.5 Article 18(d)
of the Electronic Transactions Act (Law
3/2017, of 9 January) establishes that it
is the responsibility of the intermediary
provider to “identify users who transmit
or store data with offensive content, using the communication service with
unidentified sender”.
According to this law, all information
presented in the form of electronic messages has a probative value for the purposes of holding the authors accountable. The law has not yet been regulated,
hence the types of content that are considered offensive have not yet been defined.
Even with the law having come into
effect, its impact has not yet been felt.
Social networks, namely Facebook,
WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and others, remain the main personal means
of communication and the instruments
of social mobilisation in Mozambique.
There is to date no publicly known record of citizens being held criminally
accountable for circulating electronic
messages deemed to be offensive.
The law can have a chilling effect since
the flow of messages becomes heavily
monitored for the purposes of holding
5 Ver @Verdade (2014), acessível em http://www.
verdade.co.mz/destaques/democracia/45220governo-quer-criminalizar-smss-e-e-mails-insultuosos e Global Voices (2016), disponível em https://

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