ince the resumption of
armed conflict in 2012, after 20 years of peace (19922012), the freedom of expression environment has
become a source of concern, with obvious signs
of attempts to silence critical minds
through threats and armed attacks (such
as the attempts on the lives of academics
Gille Cistac in 2015, and José Macuane
in 2016) and several political assassinations of both members of the opposition
and elements of the ruling party. There
is no data on the number of opposition
and ruling party politicians assassinated
during the armed conflict, but organisations monitoring the human rights situation in Mozambique estimate that it is in
the dozens of citizens.1

Although the environment continues to
be characterised by fear among politicians and critics, especially among opponents of the government of the day,
in 2017 there was a slight improvement
compared to the previous year. Among
‘critical minds’, there were a few sporadic cases, one of which was the entry
of an armed individual into the room
where a debate was taking place in the
Youth Parliament, a national non-governmental organisation, where he began
to threaten organisers, speakers and par1 Various,


So This is Democracy? 2017

ticipants before being removed from the
room. The second case occurred during
another civil society debate challenging the parliamentary legalisation of the
‘hidden debts’2. At the time, the organisers mobilised a petition to kick off a process to request an analysis of the constitutionality of the act. Several members
of the group of organisers began receiving threats from unknown individuals.
If the environment was slightly better
for critics and opposition politicians,
the same could not be said of the press.
Contrary to the previous year, more than
20 cases of press freedom violations
were reported in 2017.
A difficult year is expected for the media
in 2018, given that it is the beginning of
an electoral cycle.

The number of
opposition and ruling
party politicians
assassinated during
the armed conflict,
is in the dozens of
2 The issue of hidden debts was triggered in the first
half of 2016, when, from the international press, it
became known that, during the mandate of former
President Armando Guebuza, the country contracted a loan in absentia without the knowledge of
the National Assembly. Approximately US $ 1,500
million for investments in the maritime safety sector and in companies engaged in the exploitation of
mineral resources.

Select target paragraph3