05/10/2019

Urgent Action Update: Forty Protesters Freed, Ten Still Detained (Angola: UA 18.19)


A judge at the Cabinda Court ordered the provisional release of 40 more protesters on 19 April. Ten other protesters remain arbitrarily detained without charge, arrested for their involvement in peaceful protests. One female is detained at Yabi prison and nine males are detained at Cabinda civil prison. Several of the protesters have alleged that police officers subjected them to ill-treatment.

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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 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/2OHNKTM
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Minister Francisco Manuel Monteiro de Queiroz,

I write to you to bring attention to the case of the 10 protesters who remain in arbitrary detention without being charged for their involvement in peaceful protests in Cabinda, Angola. They are being investigated 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).

Alfredo Duda, António Marcos Soqui, Daniel de Oliveira, Eduardo Muindo, Filomão Futi, Filipe Macaia, Maurício Chocolate Tati and Maurício Ngimbi were arrested on 29 January while peacefully protesting to demand the release of their family members and colleagues, including activists from the Independence Movement of Cabinda (Movimento Independista de Cabinda – MIC), who had been arrested the previous day. Maria Mabo Deca and Alberto Puna were arrested on the streets of Cabinda on 1 February as they were celebrating the 134th Anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Simulambuco. Ms Maria Mabo Deca is detained at Yabi prison, while the others are held at Cabinda Province civil prison.

The 10 protesters had been detained together with 53 others who were arrested between 28 January and 12 February. A judge at the Cabinda Court ordered the provisional release of 13 detainees on 27 February ruling that their arrest at home without a warrant was illegal. Later, on 19 April, the judge ordered the provisional release of a further 40 protesters on condition that they present themselves before the court every 15 days.

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 immediate and unconditional release of the 10 protesters detained solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly; ensure that the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are fully respected 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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