Posted at 0001hrs CAT 11 November 2015
President José Eduardo dos Santos’s tightening stranglehold on freedom of expression in Angola and his government’s decades of fear and repression will cast an indelible stain on the 40th anniversary of the country’s independence, said Amnesty International today.
As dignitaries and foreign leaders gather in the capital Luanda to mark four decades of independence, at least 16 activists continue to languish in Angolan jails.
“40 years after independence, many Angolans still have a long way before they realize their human rights freedoms. Those who express views that differ from those of the regime are subjected to brutal treatment. Independence should also be about people being allowed to freely express themselves,” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa.
“Many human rights defenders are suffering in jail merely for asking for accountability and respect for human rights. The state is using police and the judiciary to entrench fear and to silence critical voices.”