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Angola

    April 23, 2015

    The trial of Angolan journalist, Rafael Marques de Morais, is a mockery of freedom of expression and charges against him must be immediately and unconditionally dropped, said Amnesty International today as he returned to court in a criminal libel trial.

    Rafael Marques de Morais faces more than 20 defamation charges for publishing a book in Portugal in 2011 highlighting corruption and human rights violations allegedly committed by the Angolan army generals and companies operating in the country's diamond communities.

    "The case against Rafael Marques de Morais demonstrates a sustained attack on an individual and the right to freedom of expression in Angola. He is being targeted for simply expressing his thoughts about societal wrongs in the country. This must stop," said Noel Kututwa, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for Southern Africa.

    Rafael Marques de Morais is a recipient of numerous prestigious international awards and has been recognised for his courageous journalistic work. He has been arrested and detained several times in Angola.

    Amnesty International has been following the trial since it began last month.

    March 17, 2015

    The Angolan authorities must immediately and unconditionally release two human rights defenders who were detained solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in the country’s Cabinda region, five organizations including Amnesty International said today.

    Jose Marcos Mavungo was arrested on 14 March 2015 – the day of the planned protest - and charged with sedition on 16 March 2015. Another human rights defender, Arao Bula Tempo, was also arrested and detained on unknown charges.

    “These arbitrary detentions are the latest disturbing example of growing repression of dissenting voices, peaceful protest and freedom of expression in Angola, particularly in the province of Cabinda,” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa.

    “We believe there is no basis for the arrest of the human rights defenders or the sedition charges brought against one of the activists. This makes a mockery of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression.”

    November 12, 2014

    Posted at 0001 CAT 13 November 2014

    The government of President José Eduardo dos Santos must stop the extrajudicial killing, forced disappearance, arbitrary arrest and torture by security forces of those who stand up against the president’s 35-years-rule, said Amnesty International as it published a new report documenting human rights violations since 2011.

    “Punishing dissent – Suppression of freedom of association, assembly and expression in Angola,” assesses how Angolans who dare challenge President José Eduardo dos Santos’ rule by demanding accountability have been targeted by the state over the past four years.

    “In Angola, we are seeing a state that has turned against its own people, a government that cannot take criticism from its own citizens,  where the genuine cries of its people are met with unlawful  arrests, extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for Southern Africa.

    The report also documents the mistreatment and violence meted out on demonstrators in custody.

    August 28, 2013

    Video footage apparently showing Angolan prison guards and fire fighters repeatedly beating and whipping prisoners is shocking and must be investigated, Amnesty International said today.

    The footage, recorded on a mobile phone and distributed via social media, is 5 minutes and 39 seconds long and is believed to have been recorded earlier this month. It shows a group of prisoners sitting on the ground as law enforcement officials and fire fighters drag them from the group one-by-one, kick them and beat them with sticks and leather straps.

    The footage appears to have been taken in Viana Prison, in the country’s capital Luanda, where similar footage had previously been uncovered.

    “This appalling incident involving apparent ill-treatment of prisoners, the second in under a year, is the latest in an increasingly disturbing pattern of brutal conduct by Angolan prison authorities,” said Muluka-Anne Miti, Amnesty International’s Angola Researcher.

    February 14, 2013

    Angola must not send to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) nine detainees held on charges in connection with allegedly attempting to destabilise the government there, since there is a real risk they would face torture and other ill-treatment, and possibly the death penalty if sent to the DRC.

    Angola must also investigate allegations that the detainees have been tortured while held in incommunicado detention.

    The men, at least seven of whom are originally from the DRC, were arrested in the Angolan province of Cabinda on 22 November 2012. They were initially held incommicado in military barracks. Their families were not told where they were and they did not have access to a lawyer until 22 December.

    Amnesty International also received information that while they were held in the military barracks, the detainees were beaten with firearms, kicked with military boots, slapped and punched. None of the men received any medical care for the injuries sustained as a result of this torture.

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