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  4. REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA: YOUTH ACTIVISTS CONDITIONALLY RELEASED

REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA:
YOUTH ACTIVISTS CONDITIONALLY RELEASED

Update info:
13 Jul 2016 (Updated)
Latest info:
8 Apr 2016 (Updated)
21 Oct 2015
Country:
REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA
Subject:
Henrique Luaty da Silva Beirão (m), Manuel Chivonde (Nito Alves) (m), Nuno Álvaro Dala (m), Afonso Matias (Mbanza Hanza) (m), Nelson Dibango Mendes dos Santos (m), Hitler Jessy Chivonde (Hitler Samussuko) (m), Albano Evaristo Bingobingo (m), Sedrick de Ca
Period:
18 Aug 2016
Distribution date:
13 Jul 2016
UA No:
143/2015

On 29 June, all of the 17 Angolan youth activists except Nito Alves were conditionally released following the Supreme Court’s decision on the habeas corpus. Less than a week later, on 5 July, Nito Alves was also conditionally released following a Constitutional Court decision.

On 29 June, the Supreme Court analysed the habeas corpus and ordered the 17 Angolan youth activists’ conditional release pending a final decision on their case. The lawyers lodged two appeals - one before the Supreme Court and another one before the Constitutional Court – that have yet to be heard. The terms imposed by the Supreme Court for their conditional release are that the activists are not allowed to leave the country and they have to carry out mandatory monthly presentations before the Luanda Provincial Court.

Only 16 of the activists were conditionally released on that date, as Nito Alves had been convicted on 8 February to a six-month jail term for contempt of Court and was expected to be released only on 8 August 2016. Nonetheless, on 5 July the Constitutional Court analysed the Extraordinary Appeal lodged by Nito Alves’ lawyer and found that his trial violated some rights guaranteed by the Angolan Constitution and, therefore, ordered his release.

On 31 May, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) released an Opinion on the case in which it considered “the detention and deprivation of liberty of the activists arbitrary” and requested the Government of Angola to “immediately release them and accord them an enforceable right to compensation and, at the same time, to put an end to the unlawful criminal proceedings against them”. Amnesty International submitted the case to the UNWGAD on 12 October 2015.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The 17 Angolan youth activists were tried for “preparatory acts of rebellion” and “criminal conspiracy” and convicted for jail terms between 2 years and 3 months to 8 years and 6 months. Angolan security forces arrested and detained 15 of the activists between 20 and 24 June 2015 in Luanda after they had attended a meeting to discuss politics and governance concerns in the country. Two other female activists were charged and stood trial alongside them but had not been detained initially.

On 28 March, Francisco Mapanda (Dago Nível Intelecto) was following the sentencing of the 17 activists and said out loud that “the trial was a farce”. The judge then opened a separate proceeding against Francisco Mapanda on the same day and convicted him for contempt of court (desacato) and sentenced him to eight months in prison. He is still in prison.

The full opinion of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concerned 14 of the activists and its full content can be found here: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Detention/Opinions/Session75/Opinion_2016_21_Angola.pdf

Further information on UA: 143/15 Index: AFR 12/4412/2016 Issue Date: 7 July 2016

Take action

Please write immediately in Portuguese, English or your own language:

  • Calling on the Angolan authorities to unconditionally release the 17 Angolan youth activists, as they are facing a political trial solely for the peaceful exercise of their human rights;
  • Calling on them to quash the conviction of the 17 Angolan youth activists and drop all the charges against them;
  • Urging them to accord the activists with an enforceable right to compensation for their arbitrary detention in line with the recommendation of the UNWGAD in Opinion No. 21/2016 of 31 May 2015;
  • Urging them to end the practice of arbitrary arrests, harassment and intimidation of activists and other human rights defenders, and to fully uphold the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 18 August 2016 TO:
Minister of Justice and Human Rights
Rui Jorge Carneiro Mangueira
Ministry of Justice and Human Rights
Rua 17 Setembro, No. 32
CP 1986
Luanda, Republic of Angola
Email: rui.mangueira@minjus.gov.ao
Fax: +244 222 330 327
Salutation: Your Excellency

And Copies to:
Director
Ana Celeste Januario
National Center of Human Rights
Republic of Angola
Email: ana.januario@minjusdh.gov.ao and celestejanuario5@yahoo.com
Fax: +244 222 333 407

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the seventh update of UA 143/15. Further information: www.amnesty.org/en/documents/afr12/3880/2016/en/