04/03/2019

Urgent Action Update: Thirteen Protesters Freed, Fifty Held Arbitrarily (Angola: UA 18.19)


On 27 February, a judge at the Cabinda Court ordered the provisional release of 13 protesters ruling that their arrest without a warrant was illegal. However, the judge also ruled that the other 50 protesters remain in detention. One female protester is detained at Yabi prison and 49 male protestors are detained at Cabinda Province civil prison.

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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 your attention to the case of 50 protesters who remain arbitrarily detained in Angola after a ruling by a judge from the Cabinda Court on 27 February. The judge ruled that their arrest without a warrant was legal as they were arrested while protesting on the streets. Of the 50 protesters, one female is detained at Yabi prison and 49 males are detained at Cabinda Province civil prison. They are being investigated on 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 the same day, the judge ordered the provisional release of 13 other protesters ruling that their arrest at home without a warrant was illegal.

Angolan security forces arrested 62 protesters, including activists from the Independence Movement of Cabinda (Movimento Independista de Cabinda – MIC) and their family members as well as colleagues between 28 January and 1 March. This is in connection with their involvement in a peaceful protest held on 1 February to mark the 134th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Simulambuco. On 12 February, the police arrested another activist. for his involvement in the same peaceful protest.

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 50 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,

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES