Annual Report: Angola 2013

Report
May 23, 2013

Annual Report: Angola 2013

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REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA

Head of state and government José Eduardo dos Santos

Police and security forces continued to use excessive force, including against peaceful demonstrators, as well as to carry out arbitrary arrests and detentions. Freedom of assembly was suppressed throughout the country. Two people were feared to have been subjected to enforced disappearance. Freedom of expression was restricted and the press was censored. There were reports of forced evictions.

Background

In April Angola presented its human rights report to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

A new political party, the Broad Convergence for the Salvation of Angola-Electoral Coalition (Convergência Ampla de Salvação de Angola-Coligação Eleitoral, CASA-CE), was registered by the Constitutional Court in April. CASA-CE took part in national elections on 31 August, which were the second elections since 1992 and the third since independence in 1975. Prior to the elections, there were reports of sporadic political violence by members of the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola, MPLA) against the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola, UNITA), CASA-CE and other political parties, as well as of UNITA against MPLA. The MPLA won with almost 72% of votes, with about 40% of the population abstaining from voting. Although a number of irregularities were registered prior to the elections, observers judged the elections as free and fair. The results were officially contested by UNITA, CASA-CE and the Social Renewal Party (PRS), but the challenges were rejected as unfounded by Angola’s National Electoral Committee (CNE).

On 27 October, Media Investe, the company that owns the weekly newspaper Semanário Angolense, censored one edition reportedly because it contained a speech on the state of the nation by UNITA leader Isaías Samakuva which was critical of the government. Although printed versions of the newspaper were burned, an online version was circulated.

Police and security forces

There were reports of excessive use of force and arbitrary arrests and detentions by the police, including of peaceful demonstrators. Police also reportedly used excessive force against detainees, resulting in at least one death. There were also suspected cases of extrajudicial executions by police, including of seven young men found handcuffed and shot in Cacuaco municipality, Luanda. No further information was made publicly available regarding investigations into alleged past cases of human rights violations by police.