Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.
Human Rights Watch on Tuesday called on Angolan authorities to “immediately drop criminal charges against 22 protesters arrested during peaceful protests in Luanda on April 9, 2022.”
The activists had gathered to march against the detention of political prisoners and to call for free and fair elections. Those detained included Laurinda Gouveia and her 6-month-old baby boy, who were kept in a crowded cell without food or water for more than 48 hours.
“Angolan police are showing their longstanding disregard for basic rights by arresting and detaining peaceful protesters, including a mother with a 6-month-old baby,” said Zenaida Machado, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Angolan authorities should drop the charges against the activists and investigate the police’s conduct.”
The Luanda provincial court on April 11 charged the detained protesters with rioting and disobeying an order to disperse and ordered their release pending trial. If found guilty, they could face up to two years in prison or a fine under article 300 of the Angolan Penal Code.
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