Freedom of expression and combating terrorism in Mozambique: the challenge of enacting laws in a context of conflictPosted: 6 February, 2023 | Author: AfricLaw | Filed under: Dércio Tsandzana | Tags: Countering Terrorism, data protection, disappearance of journalists, false news, freedom of expression, freedom of press, fundamental freedoms, human rights, international human rights standards, Mozambique, Social Communications Law, terrorism | 1 Comment
Author: Dércio Tsandzana
Researcher / Professor of political science at Eduardo Mondlane University
This article analyses two laws that are undermining freedom of expression (and freedom of press) in the context of conflict in Mozambique. The first is the proposed Law of Communications that intends to review the press law and the second is a law aimed at fighting terrorism in Mozambique. Both were proposed at a time when Mozambique has been experiencing ongoing armed conflict in Northern Mozambique since October 2017. Since then, several cases of human rights violations, imprisonment and disappearance of journalists have been reported. On 29 October 2022, a Mozambican journalist was forcibly disappeared in Cabo Delgado – he had been arrested while in the course of his trade. Thus, the approval of new laws in contexts of military tension may not only undermine freedom of expression in the country, but can also violate human rights in general. It is necessary to understand what impact these laws may have on the respect for freedom of expression and how they can affect the way information is disseminated in the context of conflict, where the spread of false news tends to increase.