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Namibia: Further information on fear for safety of human rights activist / possible disappearance and forcible repatriation: Manuel Sahanda Neto

, N° d'index: AFR 42/004/1998

Manuel Sahanda Neto, an Angolan national and director of The Angolan Human Rights League, who has refugee status in Namibia, has not been seen since reportedly being forcibly returned to Angola. Amnesty International fears for his safety as it believes he may be at risk of ill-treatment and torture.

PUBLIC AI Index: AFR 42/04/98
This is a limited action. Please restrict appeals to 20 per section
10 June 1998
Further information on UA 161/98 (AFR 42/02/98, 21 May 1998) - Fear for safety
of human rights activist / Possible "disappearance" and new concern: Forcible
repatriation
NAMIBIA/ANGOLAManuel Sahanda Neto, doctor of geology and Executive Director
of the Angolan Human Rights League in Namibia
Manuel Sahanda Neto, an Angolan national with refugee status in Namibia, has
not been seen since reportedly being forcibly returned to Angola. Amnesty
International fears for his safety as it believes he may be at risk of
ill-treatment and torture.
A statement made by the Namibian Minister of Interior on 27 May 1998 indicated
that Manuel Sahanda Neto was handed over to the Angolan authorities on 19 May
1998, one day after he was arrested in Namibia.
It was also reported that files belonging to The Angolan Human Rights League
(LADH), of which Manuel Neto was Director, were handed over to the Angolan
authorities at the same time. The LADH is a recently established
non-governmental organization in Namibia.
The Namibian authorities have claimed that the reason for Manuel Sahanda Neto’s
arrest and deportation was linked to his human rights activities which they
claimed was a threat to their national security -- despite the peaceful and
non-violent nature of his work. The Namibian Home Office had reportedly
informed him, just prior to his arrest, that his directorship of the LADH was
incompatible with his refugee status and that they feared he may use his position
to criticize the Angolan Government.
The reported forcible return apparently took place despite a High Court
injunction, taken out on 19 May in the capital Windhoek, blocking such a move.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail
letters TO THE ANGOLAN AUTHORITIES, in Portuguese or in your own language:
- expressing concern that Manuel Sahanda Neto has not been seen since his
deportation to Angola at Namibia’s Oshikango Border Post on 19 May 1998;
- requesting information as to his current whereabouts and seeking urgent
assurances that he will be safeguarded against any form of ill-treatment or
torture;
- asking that the reason for his arrest and place of detention be made immediately
known;
- calling for his immediate and unconditional release, unless he is promptly
charged with a recognizably criminal offence.
APPEALS TO: (Please note that fax tones to Angola are obtainable on an erratic
basis. The following message may be heard “the number you have dialled has
not been recognized, please check and try again” at odd times but may work
some moments later).
President
José Eduardo dos Santos
Presidente da República
2
Futungo de Belas
Luanda, República de Angola
Telegrams: President dos Santos, Luanda, Angola
Faxes: + 242 2 33 18 85
Salutation: Sua Excelência / Your Excellency
Minister of Interior
Sua Excelência André Santana Pitra "Petroff"
Ministro do Interior
Ministério do Interior
Avenida 4 de Fevereiro
Luanda, República de Angola
Telegrams: Ministro do Interior, Luanda, Angola
Faxes: + 242 2 39 25 32
Salutation: Sua Excelência / Your Excellency
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Sua Excelência Venâncio da Silva Moura
Ministro das Relações Exteriores
Ministério das Relações Exteriores
Palácio do Comnércio
Avenida Comandante Gika
Luanda, República de Angola
Telegrams: Ministro das Relações Exteriores
Faxes: + 244 2 39 32 46
Salutation: Sua Excelência / Your Excellency
TO THE NAMIBIAN AUTHORITIES, in English or in your own language:
- expressing concern at the arrest and subsequent deportation to Angola of
Manuel Sahanda Neto on 19 may 1998, where he is at risk of torture and
ill-treatment;
- reminding the Namibian authorities to respect their international commitment
not to forcibly return refugees to a country where they could face human rights
violations;
- calling for an independent inquiry into his arrest and deportation.
President of Namibia
His Excellency Dr Sam Nujoma
Office of the President
State House
Windhoek, Republic of Namibia
Faxes: + 264 61 22 1780 / 61 22 1770
Salutation: Dear President Nujoma
Minister of Home Affairs
Hon. Jerry Ekandjo
Minister of Home Affairs
Ministry of Home Affairs
Windhoek, Republic of Namibia
Faxes: + 264 61 22 3817
Salutation: Dear Minister
COPIES TO:
Jornal de Angola, CP 1313, Luanda, Angola
Faxes: + 244 2 333342
3
Agora: Rua Francisco A. Pinto nº6, 2ºandar, nº21, Luanda, Angola
Faxes: + 244 2 323477
Folha 8: Rua Conselheiro Júlio Vilhena nº24,5ºandar, Apt.19, Luanda, Angola
Faxes: + 244 2 392289
and to diplomatic representatives of Namibia and Angola accredited to your
country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 22 July 1998.

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