Ver Angola


Activist says Angola “is not a democratic country” and criticizes police action

Activist Geraldo Dala said this Monday that Angola "unfortunately is not a democratic country" and that the police act "towing superior orders", criticizing the attacks on demonstrators who intended to "march for freedom", on Saturday in Luanda.


A group of activists was prevented by the police from carrying out a "march for freedom" on Saturday in Luanda, with some having been arrested and attacked, activist Geraldo Dala, one of the organizers of the march, told Lusa this Monday, and that was also arrested.

"Eight people were arrested that day, including me, but they were later released. The only thing the police have in their possession are the means, such as telephones, megaphones, which they refuse to return and say they only do so under higher orders," he said.

Speaking to Lusa from the police unit in Bairro Operário, in Luanda, where, flanked by other activists, they went to try to recover the goods, Geraldo described the "aggressions" they were the target of in Largo das Heroínas, the place of concentration.

"Yes, there was indeed police violence, we were taken by force in police vehicles, some brothers were even attacked and tortured", he stressed.

"Demanding" justice and "an end to the persecution" of the 'zungueiras' (street vendors) and "freedom now" of the "political prisoners" was the motto of the march, which was, however, prevented by staff from the police force.

The activists, who intended to march to the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, said, 24 hours earlier, that they had communicated to the Government of the Province of Luanda that the march was taking place, in a letter dated 19 January, and that they had been waiting for a response for a week.

This Monday, Geraldo Dala regretted the attitude of the authorities, considering: "Unfortunately, Angola is not a democratic country in practice".

"Formally it is democratic because it has a law, but these laws have not been respected either by the police or by the administrative authorities", he stressed, recalling the repression of previous demonstrations in "abusing the law and the Constitution".

"In this country, what matters and commands are not the laws, but the orders of governors and presidents, they are the ones who arbitrarily rule and we understand, once again, that the police act in the wake of superior orders", said the activist.

Lusa contacted the spokesman for the Luanda Provincial Command of the National Police, but did not receive any response.

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