Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

4 August 2010

Angolan activists jailed over attack on Togo football team

Angolan activists jailed over attack on Togo football team

Amnesty International has called for the release of four Angolan human rights activists unlawfully jailed in connection with an attack on the Togolese football team in Cabinda that left two people dead and several injured.

The four men, including prisoners of conscience Francisco Luemba and Raul Tati, were sentenced to between three and six years' imprisonment by the Cabinda Provincial court for “other acts against the security of the state” over the January attack. 

"The Angolan authorities have used this deadly terrorist attack as a pretext to lock up human rights activists who have criticised them in the past," said Muluka-Anne Miti, Angola researcher at Amnesty International.

"These men must be released unless they are charged with a recognizable criminal offence and guaranteed a fair trial."

All four activists have been convicted of violating article 26 of the Angolan Law of Crimes against the Security of the State, which gives the authorities power to class any act as a crime.

“This is a worrying example of how this vague law is open to misuse by the authorities. It means that any act they decide is a crime will be a crime, even if this was not stated in law when the act was committed. Article 26 clearly violates international human rights law," said Muluka-Anne Miti.

Francisco Luemba and Raul Tati are members of the now banned human rights organization Mpalabanda. They are long-standing critics of the government and the Front for the Liberation of the Cabinda State (FLEC) - an armed group fighting for secession of Cabinda.

Police arrested both men shortly after the attack on 8 January, when the Togolese football team came under fire while travelling by bus through Cabinda to attend the Africa Cup of Nations.

Francisco Luemba and Raul Tati were found with documents on Cabinda and had recently attended a conference aimed at finding a peaceful resolution to the situation in the troubled region.

The two other convicted men, José Benjamin Fuca and Belchior Lanso Tati, had also attended the conference and allegedly confessed to being members of FLEC.

Francisco Luemba and Raul Tati have each been given five-year jail sentences, while Belchior Lanso Tati has been a given a six-year term and José Benjamin Fuca faces three years behind bars. Amnesty International understands that all four men are set to appeal the verdict.


Armed Groups 
Freedom Of Expression 
Prisoners Of Conscience 
Trials And Legal Systems 





@amnestyonline on twitter


23 October 2014

The Netherlands’ repeated attempts to argue for the forcible return of Somalis to areas controlled by the Islamist armed group al-Shabaab exposes them to grave risks of human... Read more »

17 October 2014

Prisoner of conscience and torture victim Ángel Amílcar Colón Quevedo has been released from prison after five years in pre-trial detention, in a move that is welcome but... Read more »

22 October 2014

The release from prison of one of Viet Nam’s most high profile prisoners of conscience is a positive step, but authorities must now free the scores of other peaceful... Read more »

20 October 2014

An Amnesty International investigation into allegations of execution-style and other deliberate killings by pro-Russian separatists and pro-Kyiv forces has found evidence... Read more »

17 October 2014

Testimonies gathered by Amnesty International indicate that Egyptian security forces used excessive force to crack down on recent student demonstrations at Alexandria... Read more »