Friends of Angola condemns the continuing repression of peaceful protesters in who were detained in an attempt to hold a peaceful, legal protest this Tuesday to call for a referendum in Cabinda province. The repression was carried out again by the National Police, an institution whose duty is to protect the demonstrators.
Friends of Angola (FoA) remains concerned about the wave of repression against peaceful demonstrators who use this medium as a way to present their dissatisfaction with unacceptable social situations that have large negative impact on their lives.
Actions of brutality against citizens who were exercising a constitutionally guaranteed right has been noted, which puts the Angolan authorities in a negative position in respect to the protection of human rights in Angola.
The protest had been convened by the Cabinda Independentist Movement also known as MIC and according to Mr. Antonio Tuma who were present during the protest, the police use force against peaceful and unarmed protesters. According to local sources, the following activists were detained detained today in Cabinda during a rally to demand a referendum:
1. Carlos Vemba Vemba Presindente
2. Filipe Macaia SG
3. Alberto Puna Sapiente
4. Agostinho Mabiala Muanda
5. Alexandre Dunge Dunge
6. Fernando Cira,
7. Francisco Barros,
8. Felix Mavungo,
9. José Santos,
10. Mauricio Vange,
11. Pedro Preto Massiala
12. Sebastião Buio,
13. Victor Quimbacala
Friends of Angola urges law enforcement authorities, in particular the Commander of the Police in Cabinda, to treat these individuals in accordance to national and international human rights standards, and also asks for their urgent release because it is their right to demonstrate peacefully.
To demonstration is enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Angola (CRA, Article 47) as a guarantee for all citizens, and without the need for any authorization request.
We recall that Angola is a member of the United Nations, African Union and other international institutions, so has added responsibilities in respect for human rights.
Note that the National Police, for these cases should always be called to ensure the safety, and the protection of participants during the course of their peaceful protests, and safeguarding compliance within legal limits on exercising the right to demonstrate, and most importantly, prevent any external acts that violate their democratic and constitutional right as citizens interested in demonstrating.
Finally, to curb these violent actions from repeating and spilling over into something much worse, FoA asks for accountability against those involved in brutality from the appropriate authorities.
Luanda, D.C. December 10th, 2019
For more information, please contact Friends of Angola country director, Rafael Morais at [email protected]