Angola 15 activist: Your support got us out of prison

By Sedrick de Carvalho Angola,
Sedrick de Carvalho is a young activist. He, along with 14 others, were arrested for their participation in a reading group, where young people discussed ideas about democracy and freedom.

After pressure was put on the Angolan authorities, he and the other activists were released from prison into house arrest. They remain on trial. 
He recently wrote to Amnesty supporters thanking them for their messages of solidarity. 

Special greetings, ex toto corde!

My name is Sedrick de Carvalho. I am, unfortunately, one of the 15 political prisoners that have been incarcerated since the 20th June 2015, illegally and unfairly accused of attempted coup d’état by the Angolan regime, which has been in power since 1975. And I say “unfortunately”, for the existence of such “category” of prisoner in my country demonstrates, and very well, the absence of democracy in this part of the world.

I know that Amnesty International fully understands this difficult and ongoing truth.

I would like to thank Amnesty International for the support given during this critical period of our imprisonment. Because of your support, we are no longer in prison, and I believe that you will continue to call for our unconditional release and to see human rights respected and democracy implemented. I am speaking for myself, but I know this gratitude is shared.

During these 6 months in prison, I, and the other six at who were in prison with me, were not allowed to watch, read or hear any media — except for the national newspaper, the state’s sounding board.

Enormous wave of solidarity

I say this because it was only when we were released into house arrest that we realised the enormous wave of solidarity, especially in Portugal, where Amnesty International organised several vigils. Thank you very much!

© Rui Sergio Afonso/Demotix/Corbis

Four months after being arrested outside Luanda, by an oppressive regime, we were clustered in São Paulo prison hospital and it was there that I had the great pleasure to receive a card from Amnesty International written by Catarina, a young woman who, even without knowing me, encouraged me to not give up and ensured me that “here in Portugal we will not give up on you either”. It was a surprise! Thank you very much.

When these calls for “Freedom Now” finally come true, we believe that it will be important for us to hold a joint press conference to thank everyone for all the internal and external support. But, for now, this is not possible.

I would like also to express my thanks and best wishes for a happy new year. I hope Amnesty International keeps on working tirelessly for freedom in Portugal, Angola and all over the world.

Best regards!

Sedrick de Carvalho

Luanda, 28th January 2016