The non-governmental organization (NGO) OMUNGA today denounced the use of violence and detentions of youths and activists by the Angolan police, in a post-election context, requesting an investigation to the Public Ministry.
OMUNGA underlined that no exceptional circumstances such as a threat or state of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency may be invoked as a justification for torture.
In a letter sent to the Attorney General of the Republic of Angola, the NGO asks the Public Ministry to investigate and initiate criminal proceedings against the agents involved “in the detention of young activists”.
“At the same time, the Angolan State must be held jointly and civilly responsible for the damage caused by national police officers”, added the organization in the letter, to which the Lusa agency had access, signed by the executive director, João Malavindele.
Denouncing a “wave of violence carried out by law enforcement and security forces against groups of protesting activists” in some areas of the country, OMUNGA said that the repression began after the provisional release of electoral results by the National Electoral Commission (CNE), in August 25th.
Subsequently, groups of young people with greater emphasis in Benguela, in the municipality of Lobito and in Luanda, took to the streets to express their dissatisfaction with the results, at the time, still provisional, he said.
“The Angolan National Police was called to intervene in order to maintain order and tranquility, but unfortunately it did so with the use of violence (torture) and detention of the protesters as stated in the reports below”, highlighted the NGO.
According to the OMUNGA report, on August 26, dozens of young people, including children, took to the streets in the city of Lobito to peacefully protest the provisional results released by the CNE, with the national police intervening and using tear gas and firearms with the aim of dispersing the protesters.
This police action resulted in the arrest of eight activists from the Revolutionary Movement of Benguela and 11 ordinary citizens, making a total of 19 detainees, he revealed.
On August 27, a group of young people organized themselves to once again demonstrate peacefully against the provisional results, with the police, with the same “modus operandi”, dispersing and detaining about 20 protesters, he stressed.
“It is important to note that on the 27th, activists Avisto Mbota, Albino Elavoko, António Gomes, Maria Do Carmo Correia and Mário Hulunda Raúl were gathered inside a residence where they were suddenly surprised by the police who started shooting, having detained in less than a minute and severely physically abused”, he added.
After five days of detention, the activists were released for demonstrating freely and peacefully “under the terms of articles 47 and 48 both of the Constitution of the Republic of Angola”.
“It should be noted that, as a result of the torture, aggression and cruel and inhumane treatment to which they were subjected, the activists have some bruises and pain all over their bodies, and they need a medical evaluation in order to diagnose their health status”, he explained. still the NGO.
OMUNGA also denounced that on August 29 about 40 young people were summarily tried by the Lobito District Court on charges of disobedience against an order and dispersion of the assembly, stressing that the police officers involved were not at the trial, that the Ministry Público did not find sufficient evidence of the crimes and that “the principle of presumption of innocence was violated”.
On Monday, CNE president Manuel Pereira da Silva released the final tabulation minutes of the August 24 general elections, which proclaimed the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and its candidate, João Lourenço, as winners. with 51.17% of the votes, followed by UNITA with 43.95%.
UNITA, the Angolan opposition, today filed an electoral dispute with the Constitutional Court (TC), asking for the annulment of the August 24 general elections, in which the MPLA was declared the winner, pointing out “several illegalities” in the process.