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Approximately 50 activists arrested in Luanda released without charge after frustrated protest

The 50 activists arrested, on Thursday morning, in Luanda, by the police as they prepared for a protest in favour of local elections in the 164 municipalities, in front of the National Assembly, have been released without charge.

: Angola Online
Angola Online  

"As we had promised at a press conference we wanted to speak out against the vices in the municipal legislative package and we found a security apparatus that did not allow us to focus on where we had already made other protests (south gate of the National Assembly)," said the spokesman for the Agir project, Hitler Samussuku.

Laulenu (Moxico province), Agir Project (Cacuaco municipality), PLACA, (Cazenga municipality), Mizangala Yenu (Bengo province), Okilunga, (Huila province) and the Luanda Good Action Centre are the civic organisations promoting the demonstration planned for this Thursday in front of the parliament, where the first plenary meeting of 2020 was taking place.

According to Lusa, the 'rapper' and activist, at around 9am, the police decided to take to a police station 44 activists and 20 other young people who were not connected to the movements that called for the protest, but "just passing through", and were confused because they were dressed in a similar way.

Two Lusa journalists were also arrested by the police, and later released, having been informed by the officers that they could not film or report what was happening.

Three other activists, including the musician Luaty Beirão, were reportedly taken to another police station in Maianga, according to Hitler Samussuku.

In his Twitter account, Luaty Beirão wrote that he had been "picked up by some nice policemen" and that he was "walking with them on patrol", also reporting the aborted demonstration attempt at the parliament's south gate.

The spokesman for Agir said the young people were released at around 4pm, without being charged with any crime.

When they questioned the reasons for their detention they were told that they were not being detained "and that they were just waiting for the end of the plenary session to set us free," he said.

Hitler Sumussuku said he will now meet with the other activists to decide the next steps, according to the plans of the group called "Youth for the Municipalities".

The Lusa agency sought clarification on the arrests from the Luanda Provincial Command of the National Police, with no response so far.


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