Youth Protesters Charged with Rebellion on Trial Today

Seventeen young Angolan activists were charged in court with rebellion against the state on Monday, a case rights groups said showed increasing intolerance of dissent. The young campaigners were detained in June after organising a reading of U.S. academic Gene Sharp’s 1993 book: “From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation”. The book’s blurb describes it as: “a blueprint for nonviolent resistance to repressive regimes”. Charges against them read out in court included acts of rebellion, planning mass action of civil disobedience in the capital Luanda and producing fake passports. Their defence lawyer told the hearing his clients were not guilty of any crime because debate and freedom of speech were protected under the constitution. Human rights groups have accused Angola’s President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and his government of using the legal system to crack down on critics after several activists were jailed or detained this year on […]

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