United Nations Urges Angola to Free Youth Activists

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, Michel Forst, today urged the Government of Angola to release fourteen activists arrested in June after taking part in peaceful meetings to criticize lack of good governance in the country. “Deprivation of liberty on the sole ground of having promoted good governance and exercised the rights to free expression and peaceful assembly may be considered arbitrary,” Mr. Forst warned referring to the case of Luaty Beirão, a prominent Angolan musician and rights activist, and the other defenders arrested. “Such criticism is not only fully legitimate according to Angola’s obligations under human rights law; it is also essential to the free and public debate necessary for a healthy civil society in the country,” the independent expert stressed. After their arrest, the ‘Angola fourteen’ were charged in September, together with two women rights defenders who remain at liberty awaiting trial, […]

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