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    Thousands of people are being held in Mozambique’s prisons despite not having been found guilty of a crime, Amnesty International said in a report released today, which exposes how many inmates are arrested on spurious grounds and held for years without access to a lawyer.

    The report Locking up my rights: Arbitrary arrest, detention and treatment of detainees in Mozambique describes how people from poor social groups are particularly at risk of being locked up for months, sometimes years, in squalid, overcrowded cells without having committed a crime.

    The report – which is a collaboration between Amnesty International and the Mozambique Human Rights League – also shows how, in the majority of cases, these economically disadvantaged individuals are not informed of their rights or are unable to understand them; cannot afford an attorney and are therefore almost invariably represented by unqualified individuals or poorly qualified attorneys; and are rarely granted freedom whilst awaiting trial.

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