Mozambique’s National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) says that Amnesty International’s report on alleged torture involving the Defence and Security Forces (FDS) in Cabo Delgado should not only be seen as a criticism, but rather an opportunity to investigate the subject further.
For the Ministry of Defence, Amnesty International’s report “calls into question the noble mission of the FDS, which is to safeguard the safety of people and the protection of their property”, but the CNDH sees it rather as an opportunity for investigation.
“Through the concept alone that they [government] should investigate, Amnesty International is recognising that the data may not be the data they [the government] have. They suggest that we have to investigate further to ascertain the veracity of the videos and the allegations that are brought,” president of CNDH, Luís Bitone, says.
Bitone also explained that Amnesty International is saying that it has the videos and urges authorities such as the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the National Criminal Investigation Service and the National Commission on Human Rights to investigate what is being reported. “Only after that can we give a definitive value to what is happening.”
In its response to Amnesty International, the Ministry of National Defence questions the organisation’s silence in face of the acts of terrorism in Cabo Delgado since 2017. But Luís Bitone says that all studies of the violation of human rights should focus on who should guarantee compliance – in this case the state.
“If a group of citizens dies as a result of malefactors, they must be punished on the basis of civil law,” said Bitone, adding that, from the point of view of human rights, it is understood that the state “did not act properly or up to [the standards] required to protect citizens. The problem here is the positioning and the theory that each one uses to interpret the facts.”
Once security conditions have been created in places targeted by terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado, the CNDH, the Attorney General’s Office and the National Criminal Investigation Service will be able to return to the field to investigate the torture which Amnesty International alleges the FDS carried out. (Source: O País)