Angola: Continued arbitrary detention at Calomboloca Prison of fourteen pro-democracy activists
001 / 0615 / OBS 053.1
Arbitrary detention /
October 12, 2015
Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of
the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation
Against Torture (OMCT), has received new information and requests your urgent
intervention in the following situation in Angola.
Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the continued arbitrary
detention at Calomboloca Prison of fourteen pro-democracy activists, namely
Messrs. Henrique Luaty Beirão (a.k.a. Brigadeiro Mata-Frakuxz),
Manuel Nito Alves, Nuno Alvaro Dala, Nelson Dibango Mendes Dos Santos, Alfonso Jojo Matias (a.k.a. Mbanza Hamza),
Sedrick de Carvalho, Fernando
António Tómas (a.k.a. Nicola Radical), Hitler Chiconda (a.k.a. Samussuku), Italiano Arante Kivuvu, Benedito Dali
(a.k.a. Dito Dali), Albano
Bingobingo (a.k.a. Albano Liberdade), José Gomes Hata (a.k.a. Cheik Hata), Inocénio
De Brito (a.k.a. Drux) and Domingos da Cruz, journalist, and
Mr. Osvaldo Correia Caholo, a reserve military officer acquainted to one
of the fourteen, detained at Kakila Prison.
to the information received, on September 16, 2015, the office of the
Prosecutor confirmed the charges of “crime of preparatory acts to practice
rebellion” (Article 21) and “plotting against the President and other sovereign
institutions” (Article 53) against the 14 pro-democracy activists arrested in
June 2015 as well as against Ms. Rosa Kusso Conde and Ms. Laurinda
Manuel Gouveia, two regular attendees of book club meetings
to discuss human rights violations and governance concerns in Angola. Both provisions are in reference of Article 28 of the Law
23/10 of December 3, 2010 on Crimes against Security of the State. Ms. Conde
and Ms. Gouveia are not currently in detention and are waiting for their
judgement trial in the same case as the above-mentioned fourteen activists.
addition to the charges indicated above, Mr. Osvaldo Correia Caholo is also
being charged with “misappropriation of documents” (Article 424 of the Penal
Code), Mr. Manuel Nito Alves with “illegal alteration of his name/identity”
(Article 234) and Mr. Henrique Luaty Beirão with three crimes of falsification of
documents (Article 216). The seventeen have been referred to the Provincial
Court of Luanda.
It is reported that although the Public Ministry formally
signed the accusations on September 16, 2015, it was only on September 30 that
the defence lawyers and families of the detainees were informed of the charges,
following a press conference they organised.
The Observatory strongly condemns the ongoing arbitrary
detention of the fourteen pro-democracy activists together with Osvaldo Correia
Caholo and calls upon the Angola authorities to immediately release them and
drop all charges against them as well as against Ms. Rosa Kusso Conde and Ms.
Laurinda Manuel Gouveia,
as they are
clearly aimed at hindering their peaceful human rights activities.
Moreover, the Observatory has
been informed that Mr. Henrique Luaty Beirão has been on a hunger strike for 19
days now in order to protest against his imprisonment. It is reported that his
physical condition has worryingly deteriorated.
The Observatory is deeply concerned about Mr. Henrique
Luaty Beirão physical and psychological integrity.
On June 20,
2015, thirteen pro-democracy activists
were arrested by the police while participating in a book club meeting to
discuss human rights violations and governance concerns in Angola. The police
carried out searches without warrants and seized IT hardware from homes of some
of the people they suspected of taking part in the meeting.
On the same
day, following their arrest, the Director General of the Criminal Investigative
Service issued a statement saying that they were being accused of “preparing
acts aimed at disrupting public order and security in the country”. It was
later reported that they are being charged with “rebellion”, “attempted coup
d’Etat” and “crimes against national security”.
on June 21, 2015, Mr. Domingos da Cruz was also arrested. Mr. da Cruz was
initially supposed to take part in the meeting as a speaker, but he finally did
not attend the meeting.
On June 24,
Mr. Osvaldo Caholo, a reserve military personnel and university professor, was
arrested after the police found photos of him during a search conducted in the
residence of one of the thirteen youth activists.
June 30, 2015, Captain Muhondo Zenóbio Lázaro was subsequently
arrested on the grounds of his alleged links with Mr. Osvaldo Caholo (they were
classmate). To date, no further information is available on the situation of
Captain Zenóbio Lázaro.
those arrested and detained are pro-democracy activists (except Messrs. Osvaldo
Caholo and Zenóbio Lázaro),
who have been organizing peaceful protests against the 35-year-regime of
Angolan President Eduardo Dos Santos since 2011. These protests were often shut
down after only five minutes and protesters were sometimes arrested and
It was also
reported that the authorities are making threats against the mothers of the
young prisoners who are getting mobilised. The ruling People's
Movement for the Liberation of Angola (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola - MPLA) party has indeed prevented
any kind of mobilisation organised by supporters asking for their release; and
a peaceful demonstration by relatives of the prisoners that was organised in
Luanda on August 8, 2015 was met with attacks and was violently repressed by
the security forces on the ground.
write to the authorities in Angola, urging them to:
Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Messrs. Henrique Luaty Beirão, Manuel Nito Alves,
Nuno Alvaro Dala,
Nelson Mendes Dos
Santos, Alfonso Jojo Matias, Sedrick de Carvalho, Fernando António
Chiconda, Italiano Arante Kivuvu, Benedito Dali, Albano Bingobingo,
José Gomes Hata,
Inocénio De Brito, Domingos da Cruz as well as Ms. Rosa Kusso Conde and Ms.
Laurinda Manuel Gouveia, as well as all those unduly associated with the
above-mentioned case such as Mr. Osvaldo Caholo and all human rights defenders in
Release the above-mentioned 16 pro-democracy activists as well as all those
unduly associated with the above-mentioned case immediately and unconditionally, as
well as all human rights defenders currently in detention, since their
detention is arbitrary as it only aims at curtailing their human rights
Put an end to all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against
the above-mentioned sixteen pro-democracy activists and all those unduly
associated with the above-mentioned case such as Mr. Osvaldo Caholo and all
human rights defenders in Angola;
Comply with all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human
Rights Defenders, in particular with:
its Article 1, which provides that “everyone has the right, individually and in
association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and
realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and
its Article 6(c), which foresees that “everyone has the right, to study,
discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance, both in law and in practice,
of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and, through these and other
appropriate means, to draw public attention to those matters”;
its Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary
measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone,
individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats,
retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other
arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the
rights referred to in the present Declaration”;
Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms
in accordance with international human rights standards and international
instruments ratified by Angola.
H.E. José Eduardo dos Santos, President of the Republic of Angola, Rua
17 de Setemro, Cidade Alta, Luanda República de Angola
H.E. Manuel Domingos Vicente, Vice-President of the Republic of Angola,
Rua 17 de Setemro, Cidade Alta, Luanda República de Angola
Mr. Ângelo de Barros Veiga Tavares, Minister of Interior, Avenida 4 de
Fevereiro n.º 106, Luanda República de Angola ; Tel : 222390423
Mr. Rui Jorge Carneiro Mangueira, Minister of Justice and Human Rights,
Rua 17 de Setemro, Cidade Alta, Luanda República de Angola
H.E. Mr. Apolinário Jorge Correia, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of
Angola to the United Nations Office in Geneva, Rue de Lausanne 45-47 CH-1201
Genève – Suisse, +41 22 732 30 60, E-mail: email@example.com
Elizabeth Simbrão, Ambassador, Embassy of Angola in Brussels, Rue Franz Merjay
182 1050 Brussels, Belgium, Phone: (+32) 2.346.18.72 Fax : (+32) 2.344.08.94,
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of Angola in your
 Messrs. Henrique Luaty Beirão (a.k.a. Brigadeiro Mata-Frakuxz), Manuel
Nito Alves, Nuno Alvaro Dala, Nelson Mendes Dos Santos, Alfonso Jojo Matias
(a.k.a. Mbanza Hamza), Sedrick de Carvalho, Fernando António Tómas (a.k.a.
Nicola Radical), Hitler Chiconda (a.k.a. Samussuku), Italiano Arante Kivuvu, Benedito
Dali (a.k.a. Dito Dali), Albano Bingobingo (a.k.a. Albano Liberdade), José
Gomes Hata (a.k.a. Cheik Hata) and Inocénio De Brito (a.k.a. Drux).