Journalist Chissale granted provisional release by Balama District Court

Journalist Chissale granted provisional release by Balama District Court
Journalist Chissale granted provisional release by Balama District Court

Africa-Press – Mozambique. Balama District Court in Cabo Delgado has ordered, on Thursday night, the release of journalist Arlindo Chissale, detained by the Police of the Republic of Mozambique for allegedly gathering information to foment terrorism, MISA Mozambique has said in a statement.

“The accusation, reinforced this Thursday (11.03) by the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of Cabo Delgado, in the person of the respective spokesperson, Gilroy Fazenda, pointed to the fact that Arlindo Chissale was detained not as a journalist, but as a ‘a citizen’ for the practice of ‘suspicious’ acts,” the MISA note reads.

“At the outset, the individual was not arrested for being a journalist or for carrying out journalistic activity,” Gilroy Fazenda had said, reads the MISA communique.

According to the same source, The Pvoincial Public Prosecutor Office spokesperson added: “He was arrested as a citizen, in connection with the crime of terrorism, with particular emphasis on the collection of information for the practice of terrorist acts.

“The detention resulted from a tipoff by a local economic agent who found suspicious the journalist’s intention to reserve all the rooms in a guest house, to be occupied by his co-workers,” Gilroy Fazenda announced, cited in the MISA communique.

Data collected by MISA from sources close to the journalist indicate that Arlindo Chissale, a former DW Africa correspondent in Nacala-Porto (Nampula province), was arrested while capturing images of public institutions in Balama district, a typical activity for journalists.

The MISA statement describes how, after long hours of [court] hearing, Arlindo Chissale is now indicted for the crime of illegal or unlawful exercise of functions subject to licence [journalism, in this case], provided for and punishable under article 344/3 of the Penal Code.

“Because the requirements for maintaining preventive detention were not met, the criminal investigation judge in Balama granted the journalist provisional freedom, subject to terms of identity and residence, a decision to be carried out this Friday (04-11),” the MISA statement goes on to explain.

MISA Mozambique says that “this is the first step so that, surrounded by his family and without pressure, the accused has the opportunity to defend himself against the accusations that weigh on him, thus proving his innocence”.

MISA Mozambique also made it known that “it will continue to closely monitor the progress of the process, for the sake of justice and lending its support whenever it deems relevant, so that freedom of expression and of the press are never stifled and so that journalists can perform their functions without fear within the current legal framework”.

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