Angolan authorities must immediately and unconditionally release the 17 activists arrested on trumped up charges, said Amnesty International today as demonstrations take place in several cities around the world to mark the first anniversary of their arrest.
The 17 were charged with “preparatory acts of rebellion” (actos preparatórios de rebelião) and “criminal conspiracy” and handed down conviction and sentences ranging from two and eight-and-a-half years after being arrested for attending a meeting where they discussed politics and governance concerns.
“One year on, it is completely unacceptable that these 17 activists are still in prison when there was no basis for their arrest in the first place,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for Southern Arica.
“By keeping these young innocent activists behind bars for a year now, Angolan authorities have grossly violated their rights. Their sentences must be overturned and they must be immediately and unconditionally released.”
Amnesty International considers them prisoners of conscience.