Annual Report: Angola 2011

Report
May 28, 2011

Annual Report: Angola 2011

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Prisoners of conscience and possible prisoners of conscience

Between January and April, at least 14 people were arrested in Cabinda on charges related to the January attack on the Togo football team. Two were prisoners of conscience and a number of others were possible prisoners of conscience. Seven were released without charge, while the others were charged with crimes against the security of the state. Of these one had the charges dropped after seven months' detention, another was acquitted, while five were convicted but later released due to the repeal of article 26 of the Law on crimes against the security of the state under which they were convicted. There were also other arrests in other provinces of possible prisoners of conscience.

  • In August, prisoners of conscience Francisco Luemba, a lawyer, and Raul Tati, a Catholic priest, were convicted of being the "moral authors of the crime of other crimes against the security of the state" and sentenced to five years' imprisonment by the Cabinda Provincial court. They were tried along with two other men who might also have been prisoners of conscience, José Benjamin Fuca and Belchior Lanso Tati, who were sentenced to three and six years respectively. Police arrested all four men shortly after the attack in January. They had documents on Cabinda and had recently attended a conference aimed at finding a peaceful resolution to the situation. José Benjamin Fuca and Belchior Lanso Tati allegedly also confessed to being members of FLEC. They appealed to the Supreme and Constitutional Courts. On 22 December, all four men were unconditionally released by the Cabinda Provincial Court due to the repeal of the law under which they were convicted.
  • Police arrested more members of the Commission of the Legal Sociological Manifesto of the Lunda Tchokwe Protectorate. Between January and October, at least 24 members were reportedly arrested in Luanda and Lunda Norte province. Thirteen were reportedly released without charge after varying periods in pre-trial detention. Three, Sebastião Lumani, José Muteba and José António da Silva Malembela, were convicted of crimes against the security of the state by the Lunda-Norte Provincial Court. They were sentenced to six years', five years' and four years' imprisonment respectively and remained in prison at the end of the year despite the repeal of the law under which they were convicted. Domingos Manuel Muatoyo and Alberto Cabaza, who were arrested in Luanda in July, were accused of demonstrating against the government and remained in pre-trial detention at the end of the year. A further six people remained in detention without charge. Other members of the Commission arrested in 2009 remained in prison without trial at the end of the year despite the repeal of the law under which they were charged.

Migrants' rights

Despite an agreement in 2009 to stop expulsions between Angola and the DRC, the Angolan authorities continued to expel Congolese nationals and the expulsions were accompanied by human rights violations, including sexual violence. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that over 12,000 migrants had been expelled to Bandundu, Bas-Congo and Kasai provinces between September and the end of the year. According to OCHA, 99 women and 15 men were raped during the expulsion. One woman reportedly died in hospital after being raped. Other human rights violations included torture and other ill-treatment, and many of the migrants arrived naked and without their belongings. There were other expulsions in the course of the year.

No one is known to have been held responsible for human rights violations associated with these expulsions or similar expulsions in previous years.