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Journalist Bernardo Carlos receives death threats from provincial governor

(MISA/IFEX) - MISA-Mozambique has received reports that Tete provincial governor, Ildefonso Muananthat, has threatened journalist Bernardo Carlos with death in apparent anger over his reporting. Carlos is a journalist with the daily publication "Noticias".

Governor Muananthat threatened Carlos on 16 and 17 March 2009 while touring the Mágoè district in his province. While addressing a meeting attended by journalists from Mozambique Public Television (TVM), Radio Mozambique (RM) and from the daily "Diário de Moçambique," the governor said that what happened to editor Carlos Cardoso, assassinated in November 2000, could happen to Carlos. In a direct address to Carlos, the governor said, the "truth has got its price.( . . . ) Do you know what happened with journalist Carlos Cardoso? Do not be surprised if one of these days you wake up without the arm you are using to deride me."

The following day, the governor made a second threat while addressing a group of journalists who were covering his visit to the district, saying that what Carlos wrote was tarnishing him.

The governor's threats apparently stemmed from his anger over the content of some of the stories Carlos had written recently, exposing problems in the management of public works and municipal services. Among the stories covered that angered Muananthat was an article on the sub-standard work on the electrification of a district in the province and the fact that two years after floods in Tete province victims were still homeless and living in the streets.

Contacted by MISA-Mozambique, the editor-in-chief of "Notícias", Rogério Sitoe, confirmed the threats and stated that he had not been in touch with the governor to better understand his concerns. The editor-in-chief said he would meet with the governor this week to resolve the matter.

MISA-Mozambique condemns the threats by Governor Muananthat, which are a direct violation of the fundamental rights of the media as stipulated in the Constitution. MISA-Mozambique will be monitoring the situation closely.

For further information on Cardoso case, see: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/99362/

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