03/09/2020

Urgent Action Update: 59 Protesters Officially Charged (Angola: UA 18.19)


Sixty-three protesters were arrested in January and February 2019 for their involvement in a peaceful protest. On 5 February 2020, 59 protesters were formally charged with “criminal association”, “rebellion”, “insult of the State” and “public disturbance and resistance”. Six protesters remain detained. The Public Prosecutor has dropped the cases against four protesters. The Cabinda Provincial Court will now decide whether to accept the charges against the 59 protesters or withdraw the accusations against them.

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Francisco Manuel Monteiro de Queiroz
Minister of Justice and Human Rights
Ministério da Justiça e dos Direitos Humanos
Rua 17 de Setembro,
Luanda, Angola
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Joaquim do Espirito Santo
Embassy of the Republic of Angola
2100-2108 16th St, NW, Washington DC 20009
Phone: 202 785 1156 I Fax: 202 822 9049

Email: [email protected]
Contact Form: https://bit.ly/2OHNKTM
Salutation: Dear Ambassador


Dear Minister Francisco Manuel Monteiro de Queiroz,

I write to you concerning the 59 protesters who were charged for 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) on 3 July 2019. On that date, one of the lawyers of the protesters was notified that the accusations against four protesters had been dropped, due to the lack of sufficient evidence.

The lawyers were only notified of the official charges against the other 59 protesters on 5 February 2020. The Cabinda Provincial Court will now decide whether to accept the charges against the 59 protesters or withdraw the case against them.

Six protesters, Filipe Macaia Luemba, Alberto Puna “Sapiente”, Pedro Macaia Conde, Joaquim Júnior Bety, Ruben Mavungo Domingos and Francisco Barros Muanda, have been arbitrarily detained in Cabinda Province civil prison since 29 January and 1 February 2019.

The crackdown by the authorities on peaceful protesters in Cabinda undermines the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in Angola. I urge you to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Filipe Macaia Luemba, Alberto Puna “Sapiente”, Pedro Macaia Conde, Joaquim Júnior Bety, Ruben Mavungo Domingos and Francisco Barros Muanda, detained solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly;  ensure that all the charges against the 59 protesters are dropped immediately, as they have been charged solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly; and ensure that the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are fully respected, protected, promoted and fulfilled, and that activists in Cabinda are guaranteed their right to express their views freely without fear of reprisals and unlawful restrictions.

Yours sincerely,

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