American pilot Ryan Koher and two South African volunteers have spent weeks in prison in Mozambique after being detained on 4 November.
Koher, who works for Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), was imprisoned in the Montepuez District by police while delivering medical supplies and vitamins for various orphanages in the remote region.
According to MAF, it is believed the men have been held on suspicion of supporting insurgents in Cabo Delgado. A statement from MAF has said these suspicions are ‘entirely false’.
David Holsten, president and chief executive of MAF US, had urged the police to release Koher and have him home ‘in time for Christmas’ but, as at the time of ET going to press, he was still being held in Mozambique.
Holsten added, ‘I urge Christians around the world to pray for Ryan’s safety and swift release and call on those in power both in Mozambique and in the US to do everything they can to resolve this wrongful detainment.’
MAF – which operates under the affiliate name Ambassador Aviation Ltd in Mozambique – has been operating in the country since 1999.
It has been offering humanitarian assistance, including emergency relief flights for refugees fleeing Palma in 2021.
According to MAF, Koher’s flight on 4 November 2022 was a regular charter service, which has been delivering supplies to various orphanages in the region for almost a decade.
The country, the 35th largest in the world by land size, is predominantly ‘Christian’ but following Islamist attacks in October 2022, government advice is to avoid travel to certain parts of the country, including Palma, which is one of the areas near Montepuez.