A formal indictment against journalist Amade Abubacar’s will be heard tomorrow in the district court of Macomia in Cabo Delgado, his lawyer told Zitamar News on Thursday.
Amade Abubacar, a reporter for the state-owned Radio and Television Community Nacedje of Macomia and a correspondent for Zitamar, is currently being held in the cells of the District Police Command in Macomia after being transferred on Wednesday from a military base in Mueda, 90km away, where he was imprisoned without charge for 11 days.
Amade was arrested in Macomia by the military on the morning of 5 January after interviewing and photographing victims of the extremist attacks that have brought death and destruction to the province of Cabo Delgado since October 2017.
“Today I learned that there is a formal process. Tomorrow he should go before the judge for the prosecution to be formalised,” his lawyer Augusto Armando told Zitamar by telephone. He said he hadn’t been given any further details about his client’s case.
The deputy police spokesman in Cabo Delgado, Ernesto Madungue, said Abubacar is accused of public incitement using electronic media, although would not elaborate further.
A source linked to the public prosecutor in Macomia told Zitamar that Abubacar could actually be released tomorrow, but did not say whether it would be on bail, or because the case would be dropped.
Abubacar should be immediately returned to freedom, Wazir Jonas, the Cabo Delgado representative of media rights organisation MISA, said.
“We have always said that the detention of Amade was totally illegal,” Wazir told Zitamar. “He must be released and assisted following the moral and physical damage done during his detention.”
Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Sans Frontieres and the American Bar Association, have also all condemned the imprisonment of Abubacar and demanded his immediate release.
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