Annual Report: Angola 2010

May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Angola 2010

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  • At the end of January, a police officer in Namibe province chased and then shot dead Roberto Yava Chivondu as he travelled home on a motorbike. The police officer indicated for him to stop but he did not. The wife and niece of Roberto Yava Chivondu, who were also on the motorbike, were injured when they fell off after the shooting. The officer, who had allegedly killed someone else in a previous incident, was convicted of Roberto Yava’s killing in June by Namibe Provincial Court and sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment.
  • In August, a police officer in Lobito city, Benguela province, shot Jorge Euclia in the abdomen during a police operation to arrest a group of young suspects. The officer fired three shots at Jorge Euclia as he tried to stop the police officer from beating his brother. Jorge Euclia needed intensive care treatment for his injuries but survived. The Benguela Provincial Police Commander stated that Jorge Euclia had been shot not by police but by one of the suspects. No investigation was carried out and no one was held responsible for the shooting.
  • In September, the trial began before Luanda Provincial Court of seven police officers charged with killing eight youths in the Largo da Frescura area of Luanda in July 2008. The trial had not concluded by the end of the year.

Arbitrary arrests, torture and other ill-treatment

Arbitrary arrests and detentions by the police were reported. Most of the arrests were accompanied by excessive use of force. Police were also reported to have tortured and otherwise ill-treated detainees in Lunda Norte province.

  • On 1 April, four members of the Commission of the Legal Sociological Manifesto of the Protectorate of Lunda Tchokwe in Lunda Norte province took a manifesto to the police command in Cuango, Lunda Norte province. There, the four men – Calixto Kulunga, Modesto Timóteo, Bento Majimo and Zeferino Rui Muatxingo – were reportedly arrested and beaten by police to obtain the names and addresses of other Commission members. This was followed by the arrest and detention of about 270 people who had been identified by the four men. The majority of those arrested were released. However, the four men and some 30 other members of the Commission remained in detention in the Conduege Prison in Lunda Norte, where they were allegedly tortured. They were to be tried in November for crimes against the state, but the trial was postponed.

Human rights defenders

In March, the Constitutional Court decided it was not competent to hear a case against the Association for Justice, Peace and Democracy. The case called for the closure of the association on the grounds that its founding documents breached Angolan law. The Constitutional Court sent the case to the Supreme Court for adjudication.

Freedom of expression – journalists

Journalists continued to face harassment in the form of lawsuits and other restrictions. At least three journalists were accused of abusing the media, while another received a suspended prison sentence for defamation. The editor of Folha 8 newspaper had his passport seized in May as he attempted to leave the country for Namibia. He was told that he was on a list of people forbidden from leaving the country.