Angola Human Rights
Human Rights Concerns
Angola is an oil rich nation in southern Africa rising from a decades' long civil war to become an emerging force in the world economic market. While the government's human rights record shows improvement since the end of the war in 2002, there remain areas of serious concern. Rapid economic development has improved the lives of many Angolans but also led to issues of corruption, unchecked urbanization, concerns regarding political freedom and democratization and increasing wealth disparity. Angola re-elected President Eduardo dos Santos in 2012 to another term of office in elections deemed free and fair by the international community but skewed strongly in his favor due to constitutional changes and institutional issues such as access to media.
Beginning in 2011, activists predominantly composed of students and war veterans regularly stage demonstrations, occurring usually in the capital of Luanda, demanding greater democratic freedoms and the issuance of promised benefits. Many of these protests have been marked with arrests and violence. Amnesty International is concerned about two men, Antonio Alves Kamulingue and Isaias Sebastiao Cassule, war veterans involved in the organization of demonstrations, who disappeared in May 2012 in conjunction with a demonstration regarding pension and salaries.
Despite several statements by President dos Santos of a commitment to assure adequate housing for all Angolans, forced evictions continue. Thousands of families have been displaced from their homes, often through the use of force, and provided no restitution for lost housing and property. In February 2013, families were forcibly removed by police, military and private security officers, helicopters circling, as some people were beaten and arrested while their homes were demolished.
Angola continues to inhibit freedom of expression, imprisoning people for crimes against the security of the state in an effort by the government to repress political dissension. Angola modified its security law; however the new legislation continues to make it a criminal offence to insult the Republic, the President or any organ of power of the state.