Angola: Protester hospitalized after fresh crackdown on dissent

A protester is in critical condition in hospital after being attacked by police dogs on 27 May, as part of a crackdown on freedom of association, assembly and expression that stifles dissenting views, Amnesty International said today.

This latest crackdown on dissent in Angola is unfortunately a clear demonstration that there is little space for differing views
Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa

The protester was participating in a peaceful protest demanding justice for the victims subjected to torture and extrajudicial executions in Angola in 1977 under late president Agostinho Neto.

“This latest crackdown on dissent in Angola is unfortunately a clear demonstration that there is little space for differing views,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa.

“This crackdown shows that freedom of expression, association and assembly are still in danger in Angola. Authorities must stop targeting dissent.”

This crackdown shows that freedom of expression, association and assembly are still in danger in Angola
Deprose Muchena

The protesters were also demanding the construction of a memorial for those tortured and executed without trial on 27 May 1977.

“This fresh crackdown on dissent will affect freedom of expression, assembly and association. Angolan authorities must stop criminalizing dissent.”

Background

Suppression of dissent has a significant history in Angola.  In February 2017, police set dogs on a group of peaceful protesters in a pre-election related dispute. In November 2014, Amnesty International released a report, Punishing dissent – Suppression of freedom of association, assembly and expression in Angola, detailing how Angolans who dared to challenge President José Eduardo dos Santos’ rule were killed, forcibly disappeared, arbitrarily arrested and tortured by security forces.