International organization calls for investigation into Azagaia's funeral procession

Organização internacional pede investigação ao cortejo fúnebre de Azagaia

Human Rights Watch (HRW), an international human rights organization, yesterday called for an investigation into the use of tear gas by the Mozambican police during the funeral procession of the rapper Azagaia last Tuesday in Maputo.

"Mozambican authorities should promptly and impartially investigate the use of tear gas by police at the funeral procession of a famous rapper last Tuesday (March 14) in Maputo," Human Rights Watch wrote yesterday. website consulted by MZNews.

 "The Mozambican police should always respect human rights standards for the use of force," added Ashwanee Budoo-Scholtz, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch, quoted in the statement.

The organization cites guidelines from the United Nations and the African Union to stress that the use of force should be a last resort to protect lives and in proportion to the threat. In the particular case of tear gas, "it should only be used after a warning has been given and the participants have had time to obey the warning and have a safe space or route to move," HRW points out, citing UN guidelines.

Human Rights Watch also says it monitored the developments through the media and a live broadcast on local TV station TV Sucesso and saw riot police firing in the air and using tear gas against the crowd to disperse them. A police officer who appeared to be a commander could then be heard shouting: "Stop shooting. Stop firing. I'm the one giving orders here.

The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights also recalls that force must be used as a last resort when it is unavoidable to protect life and must be proportionate and necessary.

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