Free Angolan activists jailed for planning to protest

Activists Adolfo Campos, Hermenegildo Victor José AKA Gildo das Ruas, Abraão Pedro Santos AKA Pensador and Gilson Morreira AKA Tanaice Neutro were arbitrarily arrested hours before taking part in a demonstration in solidarity with motorcycle taxi drivers in Luanda, capital city of Angola. They were summarily tried, convicted, and sentenced to 29 months in prison for ‘disobedience and resisting orders.’ Act now and call for their immediate and unconditional release.

What’s the problem ?

On 16 September 2023, a group of four activists known as AGPT – for Adolfo, Gildo, Pensador and Tanaice, were arrested before they took part in a peaceful demonstration in solidarity with motorcycle taxi drivers in Luanda, Angola’s capital. Even though the event organizers complied with all legal requirements, including communicating to the authorities about the details of the demonstration, the police, without a warrant, arrested the four activists, hours before it was due to start.

The public prosecutor initially accused the four of “outrage and injury to the President of the Republic”. Amid various inconsistencies and lack of evidence, the charge was then changed to ‘disobedience and resisting orders, although no evidence was presented in court.

On 19 September, the court sentenced them to two years and five months in prison.

Since their arrest, the penitentiary service has repeatedly prevented the wives of the four activists from delivering food directly to the prisoners. Currently, only Gildo is receiving visits without restrictions, the other prisoners are still facing limitations to receive visits from their family members.

Adolfo and Tanaice have suffered serious health challenges. Aldofo was diagnosed with pneumonia while Tanaice who was in solitary confinement had to be hospitalized following a hunger strike. Their lawyers have requested the court for treatment out of prison, but this has not been responded to.

Angolan authorities continue to target activists for exercising their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

Stand up for those persecuted and imprisoned for challenging restrictions and limitations to the right to protest and amplify their voices globally. Protesting is not a crime.

What can you do to help?

Act now and call for the immediate and unconditional release of AGPT and access to medication and adequate healthcare, including, if necessary, outside prison.