Angolan Government Suppresses Dissent
On September 19, 2013, 22 peaceful protesters were arrested in Luanda, Angola, reports Human Rights Watch. The activists were addressing corruption, social justice, police violence, forced evictions, and the disappearance of two protest organizers in 2012. The event was planned and the government had the required advance notice, but the protesters were nevertheless met by helicopters, military police, and attack dogs.
The following day, three journalists who were trying to interview some of the people involved, seven protesters who had just been released on court orders, and a businessman were arrested by “forty heavily armed rapid intervention police officers [who] arrived in five cars with sirens, including two armored vehicles”. Once they were transported to the command center they were forced to lie down before being walked on, kicked, and verbally abused.
The three journalists were later released and their camera equipment, after being destroyed, was given back to them. The seven protesters remained in custody, despite court orders for their release. To sign a petition urging Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos to “stop suppressing free speech by allowing peaceful protests, independent press, and non-partisan state media”, click here.