Mozambique police allowed to torture and kill people at will with impunity

BBC | Apr 29, 2008

Police in Mozambique have been accused of killing and torturing people with near total impunity.

The human rights group Amnesty International has published a report saying the Mozambique police appear to think they have a licence to kill.

The group says officials have responded to rising crime rates with often lethal force, but that they almost never face criminal proceedings.

Police in the southern African nation refused to comment on the report.

Amnesty’s report was published just a day after Mozambique’s League for Human Rights said the country’s human rights situation had deteriorated in 2008.

Changes needed

“Police in Mozambique seem to think they have a licence to kill and the weak police accountability system allows for this,” said Michelle Kagari, deputy director of Amnesty’s Africa Programme, in the report, entitled “Licence to Kill”.

“In almost all cases of human rights violations by police – including unlawful killings – no investigation into the case and no disciplinary action against those responsible has been undertaken, nor has any police officer been prosecuted.”
Amnesty’s report highlights individual cases including that of Afonso Penicela, who was allegedly grabbed from his home by police, beaten up, shot in the back of the neck and set on fire.

He survived long enough to tell his family what had happened to him, before dying in hospital from his injuries.

No police officer has been arrested over Mr Penicela’s death.
In February, police opened fire on a group of people protesting in the capital Maputo about increased transport fares, Amnesty’s report says.

Three people were killed and around 30 injured in the incident.
Amnesty has recommended urgent changes to police codes to bring them into line with international standards.

One response to “Mozambique police allowed to torture and kill people at will with impunity

  1. Aren’t we building/helping finance 600 mil airport there? I guess to fight Al Qaeda or some such?

    Would be better spent on borders fence here or job training for citizens. Whenever something shuts down/outsources here, some happy government shill crows about the joys and opportunities of retraining–but the details are never detailed. They always act like being downsized or jobless was just the most wonderful opportunity that could have happened to the lucky Americans.

    Maybe time to outsource bureaucratic mouthpieces and spread the joy with them too. Don’t want them to miss out on the thrill of discovery and learning new things.

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