MAPUTO — Prominent Mozambican journalist and human rights activist Ericino de Salema was kidnapped by unknown assailants in central Maputo on Tuesday afternoon, beaten up by them and left him lying unconscious on the Maputo Ring Road.

Local media reports say Salema was snatched in broad daylight at about 1.50 pm local time on one of Maputo’s main thoroughfares, 24th July Avenue, as he was leaving the premises of the National Union of Journalists (SNJ). He had received threatening phone calls the previous day.

Salema was a regular guest on the STV television network’s Sunday night chat show, Pontos da Vista (Points of View), during which he often took positions critical of government policy.

He began his journalism career on the country’s main independent weekly, Savana, and later worked on other private weeklies. He has a law degree and in recent years has worked as a lawyer, and as a human rights officer for non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

He is the second guest on Pontos de Vista to be kidnapped. In May 2016, political analyst Jose Jaime Macuane was kidnapped and shot four times in the legs.

Like Salema, the injured Macuane was dumped on the Ring Road. Macuane’s father-in-law said the kidnappers told their victim they were ordered to shoot him and leave him crippled.

Macuane recovered the use of his legs, but he no longer appears on Pontos de Vista. Like many other politically motivated killings and beatings, no one was ever arrested for the attack on Macuane.