High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs/Vice President of the European Commission
Brussels, August 12th 2015
Madam High Representative,
On the 8th of August, mothers and relatives of 15 young political prisoners arrested in Angola defied the authorities’ prohibition of a duly notified demonstration and proceeded to march peacefully in Luanda to demand the release of their sons and relatives, who were imprisoned by the Angolan authorities on June 21st, under the presumption that they were planning a coup d'état, even though no substantial evidence has been gathered to sustain these allegations and they were not yet formally accused.
The march was met with extreme police brutality - some demonstrators were heavily kicked and punched, while others were attacked by police dogs. One young man is hospital in serious condition and two of the mothers were badly wounded by the dogs. Journalists covering the event were also harassed and threatened by the police.
Having in mind that the right to peacefully demonstrate is enshrined in the Angolan Constitution, that this violent repression represents an escalation in the crackdown by Angolan authorities on political dissenters and human rights campaigners, and that Angola and the EU are bound by obligations to respect human rights as per the Cotonou Agreement,
1 - In case you have not yet done so, are you prepared to express dismay to the Angolan Government over the continuous detention of the Luanda political prisoners (revús), many of them held in confinement cells now for over 45 days, and that of Mr. Marcos Mavungo, detained in Cabinda for several months merely for his human rights work? Will you convey
your protest over the continued harassment against their relatives making visits to prison, healthcare and even food support ever more difficult?
2 - In case you have not yet transmitted your condemnation of police brutality and restrictions against peaceful demonstrators in Angola, in violation of the right to peaceful assembly and demonstration, are you prepared to do so?
Fernando MAURA BARANDIARÁN
Tania GONZALEZ PENAS