On 17 January 2019, police and migration officers arbitrarily detained 16 refugees and asylum seekers at the biggest refugees’ camp in Mozambique, the Maratane camp.
The detainees have been held in inhumane conditions in a prison station in Pemba city, Cabo Delgado province. Their cell does not have a toilet, forcing them to dig several holes in the police station’s patio to use as a toilet. They drink yellow water from the cell’s sink, and they have not been provided with adequate food. They don’t have mattresses and have to sleep on a sheet of paper on the floor. Their prolonged arbitrary detention in the current context of the global COVID-19 pandemic represents an additional and grave risk to the right to health of the 16 refugees and asylum seekers. The prison authorities have not implemented any measures to avoid the spread of Coronavirus at the Third Police Station in Pemba.
Please ensure the urgent and immediate release of the 16 refugees and asylum seekers and allow them to return safely to the Maratane Camp in Nampula province, and provide them with adequate compensation and reparation;
I would also ask you to ensure that no one is coerced into “requesting” repatriation or deported to their countries of origin or to any other country in which they would be at real risk of serious human rights violations, in line with Mozambique’s international human rights obligations.