02/12/2019

Urgent Action: Sixty-Two Activists, Protesters Arbitrarily Detained (Angola: UA 18.19)


Sixty-two people including activists from the Independence Movement of Cabinda (Movimento Independista de Cabinda – MIC) together with their family members and colleagues, were arrested between 28 January and 1 February in Cabinda, Angola. They were arrested for their involvement in peaceful protests. They are being arbitrarily detained at Cabinda Province civil prison.

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Minister of Justice and Human Rights
Francisco Manuel Monteiro de Queiroz
Ministério da Justiça e dos Direitos Humanos
Rua 17 de Setembro,
Luanda, Angola
Email: [email protected], [email protected]
Ambassador Agostinho Tavares da Silva Neto
Embassy of the Republic of Angola
2100-2108 16th St, NW, Washington DC 20009
Phone: 202 785 1156 I Fax: 202 822 9049
Contact Form: https://bit.ly/2tdZjbU
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Minister Francisco Manuel Monteiro de Queiroz,

Angolan security forces arrested eight youth activists from the Independence Movement of Cabinda (Movimento Independista de Cabinda – MIC) at their homes on 28 January in Cabinda Province, Angola. They were preparing leaflets in readiness for a peaceful protest to mark the 134th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Simulambuco scheduled for 1 February.

The next day, 20 people, including family members and colleagues of the detained youth activists, were arrested by the police while peacefully protesting to demand their release in front of the Service of Criminal Investigation building also in Cabinda.

Protesters took to the streets of Cabinda on 1 February to celebrate the anniversary of the Treaty of Simulambuco and to reiterate calls for Cabinda’s independence from Angola. They also called for the release of those arrested previously. The Provincial Police arrested 34 protesters during the protest.

The 62 people remain arbitrarily detained at the Cabinda Province civil prison. The Public Prosecutor has requested their pre-trial detention and charged them with the crimes of criminal association (article 8 of 3/14 Law), rebellion (article 21 of 23/10 Law), insult (ultraje) of the State (article 25 of 23/10 Law) and public disturbance and resistance (articles 185 and 186 of Penal Code).The crackdown by the authorities on peaceful protesters in Cabinda undermines the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in Angola.

I therefore urge you to ensure the authorities immediately and unconditionally release the 62 protesters detained solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly; and ensure that activists in Cabinda are guaranteed their right to carry out human rights activities without fear of reprisals and unlawful restrictions.

Yours sincerely,

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES