Amnesty International calls for investigation into abuse of security forces in Mozambique
The organization Amnesty International (AI) today defended an independent investigation into suspected torture and other human rights violations committed by Mozambican security forces in Cabo Delgado, in the north of the country.
“The government of Mozambique must launch an independent and impartial investigation into torture and other serious violations committed by security forces in Cabo Delgado,” appeals Amnesty International, in a statement, after analyzing a set of images captured in the region.
At stake are videos and photos that, according to AI, “show attempts at beheading, torture and other mistreatment of detainees, the dismemberment of alleged opposition fighters, possible extrajudicial executions and the transport of a large number of corpses to mass graves ”.
Cabo Delgado has faced attacks by armed groups for three years that have killed more than 1,000 people and 250,000 internally displaced persons.
AI director for East Africa and Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena, says the attacks do not justify Mozambican forces committing atrocities, but the images “are evidence of the serious human rights violations and shocking violence that has occurred in Cabo Delgado , away from the international spotlight ”.
Amnesty International members obtained five videos and three photos from sources located in Mozambique and the materials, in digital format, were checked by participants from the ‘Crisis Evidence Lab’ (urgent evidence analysis group), a section of AI itself.
“The soldiers in the videos wear two different uniforms,” that of the Mozambican armed forces (the majority), combined with Kalashnikov weapons, while others wear the uniform of the police’s Rapid Intervention Unit (UIR), describes the AI.
The organization also highlights the fact that they speak Portuguese and changana, a language in southern Mozambique, and refer to recent struggles in Mocímboa da Praia, which is why “it is highly likely that [the images] were filmed in or near Cabo Delgado. , in the first half of 2020 ”.
“However, AI has not been able to geographically locate the precise location of the footage,” adds the statement.