Maputo, 13 Nov (AIM) – The Mozambican chapter of the regional press freedom body, MISA (Media Institute of Southern Africa) has condemned the death threats made against Gabriel Junior, the owner and Chairperson of the private television station, TV Sucesso.
Junior announced on Sunday night, on his usual Sunday programme “Mocambique em concerto” that he had come under threat.
“I think the time has come to ask you to pray for me”, he told his audience, “because over the last two weeks. I have received death threats. I though this was something temporary, but with each passing day the pressure from the threats is becoming greater”.
He gave no details about the threats or who was making them, but said he had immediately informed the authorities.
In addition to his business interests, Gabriel Junior is a parliamentary deputy for the ruling Frelimo Party. But he has made no attempt to turn TV Sucesso into a Frelimo mouthpiece. Instead, the station has won applause for its professionalism and impartiality.
TV Sucesso first came to prominence with its full coverage of the 2021-2022 trial of 19 people accused of involvement in the country’s largest ever financial scandal, known as the case of the “hidden debts”. It broadcast live almost every minute of the trial in which figures previously regarded as untouchable – such as the head of the security service and his deputy, Gregorio Leao and Antonio Carlos do Rosario, were put under public scrutiny.
This year, TV Sucesso has covered intensively the municipal elections, including the irregularities and the many accusations of fraud.
A Monday statement from MISA condemned the threats against Gabriel Junior, and “any other threats or intimidation against media professionals and managers, regardless of the motivations”.
It described such threats as “serious attacks against the freedoms of the press and of expression”. They were also serious violations of the country’s press law and of the Mozambican constitution.
MISA urged the authorities to investigate the threats against Gabriel Junior, and bring those responsible to trial. Such firm action would send a message that the authorities will not tolerate threats against journalists and media managers.