Annual Report: Angola 2011

May 28, 2011

Annual Report: Angola 2011

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  • In March over 3,000 homes near the railway line in Lubango, Huíla province, were demolished to make way for railway upgrades. At least two children died during these forced evictions; one when debris fell on him and another apparently due to poor living conditions following the demolitions. Those forcibly evicted were moved to Tchavola neighbourhood, on the outskirts of Lubango, and left without access to clean water or basic services and exposed to extremes of weather. Only 600 tents were provided for all the families. In April, the Huíla provincial government apologized for the demolitions. However, there were reports of further forced evictions in Lubango in August and in September.

Unlawful killings

In March, seven police officers were convicted and sentenced to 24 years' imprisonment by the Luanda Provincial Court for killing eight youths in the Largo da Frescura area of Luanda in July 2008. However, many police officers continued to violate human rights with impunity.

  • In May, the bodies of William Marques Luís "Líro Boy" and Hamilton Pedro Luís "Kadú" were found by their family in the Central Morgue of Luanda. They had been arrested without a warrant at their home in Luanda's Benfica neighbourhood by several police officers and were subsequently extrajudicially executed. "Kadú" was reportedly beaten by the police outside his home before he and "Líro Boy" were taken away. "Kadú" had been shot in the head and abdomen and his body showed signs of having been beaten. "Líro Boy" had been shot several times in the head and his body showed signs of torture, including broken limbs. In November police authorities announced that those responsible for the deaths had been detained. No further details were provided.
  • In July, 19-year-old Valentino Abel was killed when a police officer opened fire in the Belo Horizonte area of Kunhinga Municipality in Huambo. The police officer had apparently intervened to stop an altercation and had been slapped. He then reportedly became enraged and started shooting indiscriminately. Three shots hit Valentino Abel in the thorax, killing him. The Municipal Police Commander stated that the police officer had been drunk and had run away following the incident, but was captured two days later. However, no information was available concerning any proceedings against him.

Freedom of assembly

Despite provisions of the new Constitution guaranteeing the right to demonstrate peacefully without the need for authorization, this right was denied on a number of occasions.

  • On 1 April, OMUNGA, an NGO based in Benguela, informed the Benguela provincial government of its intention to hold a peaceful march on 10 April in protest against forced evictions in Huíla province and in solidarity with the victims. A similar march planned in March had not been allowed, allegedly because not all the requirements of the law had been complied with. Although the organizers had complied with national law, the Benguela provincial government once again refused to authorize the march planned for April, on the grounds that there had been no forced evictions in the province. Nevertheless, the demonstration went ahead peacefully on the day.
  • In May, the Cabinda provincial government refused to allow a planned march in protest against the arbitrary arrest and detention of people in connection with the attack on the Togo football team, even though the organizers of the march had complied with all the requirements of the law.

In June, the President of the Constitutional Court stated that Angolan national law does not require prior authorization from administrative authorities for demonstrations to occur. However, authorities continued to prevent peaceful demonstrations.