Mozambique soldiers assault journalists

Soldiers from the Mozambique Defense Force (FADM) beat up two journalists from Independent Television Mozambique (TIM) who were reporting on a confrontation between the military and locals in a town close to the capital Maputo on November 7, 2013.

On Thursday morning, journalist and news editor Alexander Rose and cameraman José Claudio Timana together with their driver arrived to cover a land dispute that has been running for the past three weeks between residents and soldiers from the Malhampsene barracks in Matola City.

According to a statement from the chief executive of TIM, Joao Ribeiro, the army used force to evict people from the disputed land and fired warning shots in the air, and the journalists were caught up in the confrontation. According to a news report, soldiers kicked the journalists and beat them with rifle butts until Rose collapsed. They detained Timana in the local barracks. The driver escaped unscathed.

Rose was taken to a nearby hospital and was expected to make a full recovery, according to the TIM statement. Several hours later, the military released Timana. The local military commander apologized to TIM.

“TIM deplores and condemns the incident and sympathizes with colleagues involved in this incident,” the station said in its statement. The station said it was committed to free and independent reporting and would pursue the issue with military authorities as well as with local journalist unions and media organizations.