June 21 2011


Angola’s MPLA authorities have reportedly ordered the arrest and detention of Cabindan civil society activist and environmentalist, Agostinho Chicaia. The incident occurred t yesterday, June 20 2011, at approximately 15h00, at the N’Djili International Airport in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Chicaia’s arrest and detention came shortly before he was to depart to Harare, Zimbabwe.
The exact reason for his arrest and detention is not clear. However, credible information has it that Kinshasa authorities claim that Chicaia’s name appears on “uma lista negra” (i.e. a black list) which allegedly is at the disposal of the Angolan Embassy in Kinshasa.
“We must prevent, under any pretext or circumstances, the extradition of Chicaia to Angola. The demand for his release is urgent. The mysterious death in Kinshasa, one year ago, of Floribert Chibeya and the alleged murder of Cabindan opposition members after their imprisonment in Angola, reinforces the urgency of the immediate release of Chicaia. No one should be silent amidst these atrocities. We must bring this complaint to all our contacts, individuals and organizations around the world. Each one has to create a wave of solidarity. Free Agostinho Chicaia, now!”, said Filomeno Lopes, Spokesman for the Opposition Democratic Bloc, in the Angolan capital, Luanda, who broke the news about Chicaia’s ordeal.
Chicaia, an agronomic specialist and former President of now-defunct Cabindan Civic Association Mpalabanda, has lately been residing in the coastal town of Pointe Noire, in the neighboring Republic of Congo (Congo Brazaville), where he coordinates the United Nations’ Maiombe Project. Chicaia has published several studies in various magazines and newspapers around the world.
On June 3 2010, a leading DRC human rights activist, Floribert Chebeya, President of the Voice of the Voiceless, was found dead in Kinshasa. Prior to his death, Chebeya, whose body was discovered, partially clothed on the back seat of his own car, had received regular death threats from DRC police and shortly before his death, he had been ordered to meet the DRC national police chief.
“Thus, we have all reasonable grounds to believe that Chicaia is in the real and immediate danger of death or enforced disappearance or both. Hence, we join all others in the SADC region and worldwide to demand his immediate release and personal safety. Therefore, we urge the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions to intervene”, said NamRights executive director, Phil ya Nangoloh, in Windhoek, Namibia, this morning.

In case of additional information, please call, e-mail or text: Steven Mvula or Phil ya Nangoloh at Tel: +264 61 253 447, +264 61 236 183 or +264 811 406 888 (office hours) or Mobiles: +264 811 299 886 (Phil) and or +264 812 912 948 (Steven) or E-mail: nshr@nshr.org.na or nshr@iafrica.com.na or visit us at: Liberty Center, 116 John Meinert Street, Windhoek-West, Windhoek or at: www.namrights.org.na

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