Amnesty International has learned that 18 Mozambican election monitors who have spent a month in incommunicado detention were last night secretly transferred to a different prison, raising serious concerns for their safety. The 18 individuals were arrested while monitoring the 15 October elections. Authorities have moved them from a prison in Guijá district to Xai-Xai district without informing their lawyers or family members.
“The ongoing arbitrary detention of this group of election monitors is a travesty. They have spent over a month in overcrowded cells where they are denied access to lawyers and cut off from their families, simply for doing their jobs,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa.
“Their transfer to a prison 154 kilometres away is an alarming development and appears to be a deliberate attempt by the authorities to obscure details of their whereabouts and treatment. Moving them so far means that they will be more isolated from their families and their lawyers. We are urging the Mozambican authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all 18 election monitors.”