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Banjul, 04 March 2015

The Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa is deeply saddened by the news of the death of its former board member, prominent Mozambican lawyer and human rights activist Gilles Cistac.

According to reports, Gilles was shot and killed by four unidentified gunmen who remain at large. Gilles, who was a key figure in a sensitive debate about autonomy for Mozambique’s provinces and decentralization of power, was travelling to work in Maputo on the morning of the 3rd of March when he was ambushed.

Gilles, a professor of law at the University of Eduardo Mondlane, was a senior academic and constitutional law scholar. Gilles had served as a board member of the Institute for four years and contributed immensely to both the Institute’s lusophone and strategic litigation strategies. His boundless energy and unwaivering support for human rights in Africa provided the staff and the board with a strong and unwaivering source of support and inspiration.

We at the Institute condemn the attack on a prominent human rights activist. We call on the authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.  Gilles’ death has been a tragic loss for the human rights community. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family.