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Torture by mozambican security forces in gruesome videos must be investigated – Amnesty International

September 9, 2020

By Jorge Joaquim

The Mozambique government must launch an independent and impartial investigation into torture and other grave violations committed by security forces in Cabo Delgado, Amnesty International said today, after verifying gruesome footage from the region showing crimes against detainees.

Cabo Delgado is where a group known locally as Al-Shabaab, allegedly affiliated with the armed group calling itself Islamic State of Central Africa Province, has attacked government forces and civilians.

The videos and pictures show the attempted beheading, torture and other ill-treatment of prisoners; the dismemberment of alleged opposition fighters; possible extrajudicial executions; and the transport and discarding of a large number of corpses into apparent mass graves.

The armed group has committed multiple human rights abuses during the conflict, including the beheading of civilians. However, government security forces have responded with similar tactics.

“The horrific videos and photos we analyzed are evidence of the serious human rights violations and shocking violence that has been taking place in Cabo Delgado, away from the international spotlight,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa.

“This behaviour flouts fundamental principles of humanity. The abuses attributed to the group known as Al-Shabaab can never justify further violations by the security forces of Mozambique. The government of Mozambique must now order a swift, transparent and impartial investigation to bring all those responsible for such crimes to justice in fair trials.”

The soldiers committing the atrocities in the videos analyzed by Amnesty International are wearing the uniforms of the Mozambique Armed Defense Forces (FADM) and the Mozambique Rapid Intervention Police (PIR).

Amnesty International is calling on authorities to immediately order security forces to cease all ill-treatment of detainees and other human rights violations in Cabo Delgado and investigate and prosecute all those responsible for the torture or extrajudicial executions of detainees.

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