The Mozambican police ordered people to undress and confiscated shirts from the "I will not pay" campaign, a protest against the hidden debts. And says it acted legally.
"Police acted within the limits of police action," Inacio Dina, a PRM spokesman, said at a press conference in Maputo. On Monday, the Center for Public Integrity of Mozambique (CIP) accused the police of asking people to take off the shirts from the "I do not pay" campaign and confiscating them. This campaign opposes the inclusion of the state's hidden debts in the public accounts.
The campaign was launched on Friday and consists of offering short-sleeved shirts that read "I will not pay" to whoever wants to wear them and add their own message in videos on social networks, on the Internet.
The police spokesman argued that the law allows for the corporation to demand the identification card to any citizen on the public streets and to perform a search, "provided there is a possibility of a incivility or criminal occurrence." "Who benefits from changes in public order and collective violence in the country?" he asked.
The police can act "when there is incitement to disobedience, popular revolt or alteration of public order," he added. "We consulted the law and evaluated the state of public opinion, the operational situation and we acted as the law allows," Dina said.
Former Mozambican Finance Minister Manuel Chang, three former Credit Suisse bankers and an intermediary of Privinvest have been detained in different countries since December 29th at the request of the US court in connection with the hidden debts.
According to the indictment, the hidden debts guaranteed by the Mozambican state between 2013 and 2014 for three fishing companies and maritime security will have served as the basis for a scheme of corruption and money laundering with the aim of enriching several suspects.