A prosecutor in the western district of Manica ordered three journalists from the community newspaper Mabarwe detained without charge, according to the local chapter of the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) and local news reports. According to local reports, editor Canjera, news editor Mascarenhas, and reporter Francisco were detained after a local businessman accused their paper of defaming him. They were held until May 10, when they were released without charge.
The prosecutor ordered the journalists detained on the same day on which he was scheduled to participate in a “public debate on media freedom” organized by MISA’s Manica bureau, the organization reported.
MISA-Mozambique Chairman Alfredo Libombo said the detentions were unlawful because Mozambican law does not allow pretrial detention of individuals accused of libel.