Angola: Extrajudicial killings, disappearances and torture crush dissent
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.
The report focuses on a number of cases, including two men, Silva Alves Kamulingue and Isaías Sebastião Cassule, who were involved in organising demonstrations in 2012. Both men disappeared and it was later revealed that they were killed by State agents.
Another individual, Manuel de Carvalho "Ganga", was shot and killed by a member of the Presidential Security Unit (USP) after being caught putting up posters with others near the presidential palace on 22 November 2013.
“The Angolan authorities must launch thorough, impartial and independent investigations into these deaths and ensure that suspected perpetrators are brought to justice without further delay. People cannot be killed, tortured or harassed for merely expressing themselves,” said Deprose Muchena.
Amnesty International is also urging the government of President José Eduardo dos Santos to instruct all security forces to immediately end the use of excessive force during demonstrations and fully abide by international norms on the use of lethal force.
“Being a key member of the Southern African Development Community, Angola must set a good example and shoulder the responsibility of fully protecting the human rights of its citizens including to freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and the right to engage in peaceful protest. Angola must uphold basic rights enshrined in both its own constitution and regional and international human rights treaties to which it is a state party,” said Deprose Muchena.
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Report Punishing dissent – Suppression of freedom of association, assembly and expression in Angola