Two Spanish Roman Catholic missionaries expelled from Portuguese Mozambique after being held in prison there for nearly two years claimed in Madrid on Monday (26 November) that their fellow prisoners were tortured.
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Background: Two Spanish Roman Catholic missionaries expelled from Portuguese Mozambique after being held in prison there for nearly two years claimed in Madrid on Monday (26 November) that their fellow prisoners were tortured.
The two priests -- Fathers Martin Hernandez and Alfonso Valverde Leon, both aged 30 -- are missionaries of the Spanish Burgos Fathers Order. They arrived in Madrid on Sunday after a flight from Lourenco Marques, and held a news conference the following day.
The Two priests had been held by the Portuguese Authorities in Lourenco Marques since January last year on subversion charges, accused of aiding the outlawed Mozambique Liberation Front -- FRELIMO -- and were released under a general amnesty.
At their news conference, Father Valverde claimed that in June this year, about 400 prisoners were locked in their cells for three or four months before interrogations began. Some were tortured until they made a confession. Otherwise they spent sight days without food. The two missionaries said they were not badly treated, but had to spend 22 hours every day in their cells. They had been working at the Mucumbura Mission in the Tete province of Mozambique, and were arrested while holidaying with friends in Rhodesia.