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While enforcing the COVID-19 preventive measures decided by the Angolan authorities, security forces’ use of lethal force has led to the death of at least 7 young people. Overwhelming reports of police use of excessive force and firearms have been received. It’s time to put an end to the use of excessive and lethal force to enforce the fight against the spread of the pandemic. Take action now to demand justice for the killings that resulted from it.

In Angola, reports of police brutality have been received from several provinces. The state agents have contributed to an increased environment of intimidation and violence in the streets.  The use of lethal force by security forces between May and July 2020 led to the deaths of Mário Palma Romeu (Marito), Altino Holandês Afonso (Hernani), Clinton Dongala Carlos, Mabiala Rogério Ferreira Mienandi (Kilson), João de Assunção Eliseu, António Vulola (Toni Pi), and José Quiocama Manuel (Cleide).

One of those seven boys named Kilson, 15 years old, was a student who dreamt of being a singer and soccer player. The day he died, he was spending time in a field where they usually practice sport and have fun singing and dancing with his friends. That morning at around 7 am, police officers arrived shooting to disperse the people gathered there. The boys fled but Kilson fell on the ground. He was hit in the head. Police officers got out of their cars and gave him kicks. When they realized that he was bleeding, they returned to their car and drove away. Neighbors took Kilson to the hospital where he died.

The stories of how police brutally killed these seven boys have a lot of similarities. They all show how reckless and unchecked the use of lethal force quickly led to the loss of the lives that security forces are meant to protect.

Their deaths are a painful reminder that a fair society is one where respect for life is the core principle regardless of the social, economic status, and political beliefs of people. The right to life simply must be respected. It’s a reminder for Angolan authorities that the ultimate aim of fighting the spread of COVID-19 is to save lives and protect livelihoods.

It’s time to end the use of excessive, disproportionate, and lethal force by police. It’s time to end police brutality in Angola.

Join our supporters and members in calling for a prompt, thorough, independent, and impartial investigation in all deaths and human rights violations due to police brutality in Angola.

Take action now to demand President João Lourenço to take all necessary steps to ensure justice and reparation for families affected by security forces’ excessive and lethal use of force.