Maputo - Unknown assailants kidnapped prominent Mozambican journalist and human rights activist Ericino de Salema in central Maputo on Tuesday afternoon, beat him up and left him lying unconscious on the Maputo Ring Road.
According to a report on the independent television station STV, Salema was snatched in broad daylight at about 13.50 on one of Maputo’s main thoroughfares, 24th July Avenue, as he was leaving the premises of the National Union of Journalists (SNJ). He had received threatening phone calls the previous day.
Salema was rushed to a nearby hospital, and, at the time of writing, it is not yet clear how serious his condition is.
Salema was a regular guest on STV’s Sunday night chat show “Pontos da Vista” (“Points of View”), on which he often took positions critical of government policy. Thus last Sunday he attacked the government’s attempts to restructure the illegal debts contracted under the previous government, headed by President Armando Guebuza, and called for the resignation of Finance Minister Adriano Maleiane.
Salema began his journalism career on the country’s main independent weekly “Savana”, and later worked on other private weeklies. He has a law degree and in recent years he has worked as a lawyer, and as a human rights officer for NGOs.
He is the second guest on “Pontos de Vista” to be kidnapped. In May 2016, political analyst Jose Jaime Macuane was kidnapped and shot four times in the legs. Like Salema, the injured Macuane was dumped on the Ring Road. Macuane’s father-in-law said the kidnappers told their victim they were ordered to shoot him and leave him crippled.
Like many other politically motivated killings and beatings in Mozambiue, no-one was ever arrested for the attack on Macuane.