Angola: Eight journalists assaulted while covering a civil society demonstration

Eight media workers were roughed up, assaulted or detained by the police on 24 October in the Angolan capital Luanda while covering a demonstration organised by civil society activists and supported by the opposition to demand better living conditions and jobs. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Sindicato Dos Journalistas Angolanos (SJA) in condemning the arbitrary detentions of media workers and calls on the Angolan authorities to stop intimidating journalists.

Police at the protests in Luanda. Credits: OSVALDO SILVA / AFP

UPDATE 27/10/2020: The three journalists that remained in jail have been released without charge.

Journalists Suely de Melo, Carlos Tome, Santos Samuesseca, Leonardo Faustino and their driver, all working for Radio Essencial, as well as journalists Domingos Caiombo and Octavio Zoba from TV Zimbo and a photographer were arrested. Two freelancers who contribute to AFP were also targeted.

According to the SJA’s president, Teixeira Candido, the police forced a TV Zimbo cameraman to delete images he had recorded and assaulted the AFP phorographers, even though they were identified as a journalists and forced them to delete the video footages of the demonstration

"A  year ago we requested a meeting with the provincial commander of Luanda and we left with the assurance that there would be no more arrests and assaults. Unfortunately it happened again and with brutality," said Teixeira Candido.

In a conversation with the IFJ, the SJA defined the situation as “very worrying” and confirmed the union is following the case and doing the utmost to secure the release of all the arrested journalists.

The IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “We condemn the arbitrary arrest of media workers. The IFJ stands in solidarity with the detained journalists and fully supports the work of the SJA to secure their immediate and unconditional release. Authorities must open without delay an independent investigation into the actions of the police officers responsible for these incidents”.

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

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