Mozambique | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

Mozambique

Mozambique

Freedom of the Press 2004

2004 Scores

Press Status

Partly Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)

45

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

17

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

15

The 1990 constitution provides for freedom of the press but limits this right in relation to respect for the constitution, human dignity, the imperatives of foreign policy, and national defense. Criminal libel laws are sometimes used to prosecute media outlets for defamation; this poses an important deterrent to open expression and encourages self-censorship. In April, Supreme Court President Mario Mangaze sued the weekly newspaper Zambeze for libel over an article containing allegations of judicial corruption. The private media have enjoyed moderate growth, but publications in Maputo have little influence on the largely illiterate rural population. The state owns or influences all of the largest newspapers and also controls nearly all broadcast media. Although state-owned media have displayed greater editorial independence in recent years, the opposition receives inadequate coverage on national radio and television. The Higher Council of Social Communication, a press-law enforcement body, is dominated by the ruling party. Reporters continue to experience threats and intimidation, as well as a few instances of physical violence. In January, six men accused of the November 2000 contract murder of investigative journalist Carlos Cardoso were convicted and sentenced to lengthy prison terms. Investigators continue to examine whether the president's son, Nyimpine Chissano, was involved in Cardoso's murder.