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Gilles Cistac, professor and former government advisor, assassinated in Mozambique

This statement was originally published on misa.org on 5 March 2015.

Lawyer and Constitutional Law Professor Gilles Cistac was assassinated by unknown assailants on the morning of 3 March 2015 in Maputo, Mozambique.

Cistac, a professor at Eduardo Mondlane University, was having coffee at a café in the affluent suburb of Polana on the morning he was killed. As he stepped out of the café onto the sidewalk, eyewitnesses said four assailants in a car fired four shots at him. He was taken to Maputo Central Hospital but was pronounced dead after four hours of surgery.

Over the past few weeks, Cistac had been the subject of verbal abuse by commentators aligned with the ruling party for his vocal support of opposition party Renamo's demand for the creation of autonomous regions in Mozambique, covering those provinces where the opposition won a majority of votes in the general elections held in October 2014. Such was the intensity of the abuse that Cistac had decided to take legal action against some of his detractors.

Originally from France, Cistac held Mozambican citizenship and had lived and worked in the country for more than 20 years. He had helped government and parliament develop some of the laws that today are part of Mozambique's legal dispensation.

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