Mozambique: Paulino Gives Details of Riot Arrests

Maputo — 256 people were detained during the riots against price increases on 1 and 2 September last year in the cities of Maputo (139), Matola (62) and Chimoio (55), Mozambique’s Attorney-General, Augusto Paulino announced on Wednesday.

Giving his annual report to the country’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, Paulino gave details of the riots and their aftermath that neither the police nor the courts had bothered to make public.

Of the 256 people detained, most were accused of minor public order offences, and given summary trials. More serious charges were pressed against 105 – 80 in Maputo, 22 in Matola and three in Chimoio. The charges ranged from incitement to violence, theft and criminal damage to arson, sedition and murder.

Paulino said that to date 178 people have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from three days to two years. 64 have been acquitted and the other 14 are awaiting trial.

One of those killed during the riots was an 11 year old boy, struck by a police bullet on 1 September as he was returned from his Maputo school, which had been closed because of the disturbances. Paulino said that criminal proceedings are under way against the policemen involved in this shooting – but he did not say how many policemen have been arrested, or explain why it has taken so long for the case to come to trial.

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