Mozambique: Over 300 Police Officers Expelled Due to Involvement in Crimes

Maputo — At least 326 officers of the Mozambican Police force (PRM) were expelled from the corporation in 2020 for being involved in crimes, including actions of excessive force and violence against citizens.

“In the same year, some officers who committed criminal actions were punished”, adds the 2020/2021 report on Human Rights in Mozambique, authored by the Mozambican Bar Association (OAM), released last week in Maputo.

“Four police officers, for example, were sentenced to the maximum penalty of 23 and 24 years in prison, for their involvement, on 7 October 2019, in the murder of the executive director of the Forum of Non-Governmental Organizations of Gaza (FONGA), Anastácio Matavel”, says the report.

In 2020, according to the report, many arbitrary detentions persisted, including situations of people being locked up for more than 48 hours in cells and detainees driven to prisons without any magistrate validating their detention.

Among various abuses, stressed the document, the violence practiced by the police also includes physical assault, arbitrary detention and sometimes even murders.

Therefore, the OAM recommends the strengthening of measures to prevent violence, including the implementation of training courses for PRM agents on human rights issues.

The organization also recommended exemplary disciplinary, administrative and criminal accountability of those police officers involved in violence against citizens, as well as modification of the requirements for admission of candidates for a police career, ensuring that only persons who show a commitment to the cause of law and order and public security are admitted.

The OAM also called for the dissemination of information on crimes of violence committed by the police, including the names of the officers involved and the disciplinary measures taken.

Since 2016, the OAM has been publishing reports on human rights, as part of its mandate to defend the democratic rule of law and fundamental rights and freedoms, which it regards as the foundations of the Mozambican state.

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