Ver Angola


Justice, Peace and Democracy Association accuses United Nations of partiality when faced with complaints of injustice in the country

The Justice, Peace and Democracy Association (AJPD) accused the United Nations of “partiality” in the face of allegations of violations of the human rights of Angolan citizens, praising, however, the request for the release of businessman Carlos São Vicente.

: Ampe Rogério/Lusa
Ampe Rogério/Lusa  

"We have already had several actions and communicated to the United Nations, through its various agencies, and this body has barely echoed (complaints of injustice in Angola). We are left with the feeling that the United Nations has a partial position, we don't know if they use subject quality criteria", said the president of AJPD, Serra Bango, this Tuesday.

Speaking to Lusa about the UN's request for the immediate release of Portuguese-Angolan businessman Carlos São Vicente, Serra Bango questioned whether the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights respects the principle of equality of citizens before the law.

According to the leader of the Angolan non-governmental organization that promotes and defends human rights, several cases of Angolan citizens detained and tried contrary to the law were reported to the United Nations and this body "never took a position".

"But, in any case, it is good that the United Nations took this position, especially because it recognized that there is a violation of human rights, not so much the detention and/or imprisonment of Carlos São Vicente, it is a violation of human rights, a question that we always talk about", he highlighted.

The United Nations working group on Arbitrary Detention concluded that the detention of Portuguese-Angolan businessman Carlos São Vicente was arbitrary and called for his immediate release and compensation, according to the definitive opinion released on Monday.

São Vicente was sentenced, on March 24, 2022, to nine years in prison for the crimes of embezzlement, tax fraud and money laundering, as well as paying compensation of 500 million dollars (464 million euros).

The businessman's Swiss defense lawyers, François Zimeray and Jessica Finnelle, appealed to the UN at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in March 2021, six months after the businessman was arrested on suspicion of embezzlement and money laundering crimes.

Serra Bango also said that there are several cases of human rights violations in Angola, pointing out citizens, such as the activist Tanaice Neutro and the activists of the well-known "15+2" process, who were arrested and convicted "unfairly and did not receive any compensation".

"It would be good for the United Nations to show a position of impartiality," he said.

Regarding the request for the immediate release of Carlos São Vicente, the jurist was also skeptical about the Angolan Government's reaction, admitting that it could claim that the judiciary is independent.

"They will say that this is a different power that is independent, the judicial, and that when it comes to the judicial power, the executive has nothing to do", he pointed out.

He also defended the need not to deny the right to medical and medication assistance to businessman Carlos São Vicente and other detained defendants, such as digital influencer Neth Nahara and activist Tanaice Neutro.

In the definitive opinion released on Monday, which maintains the conclusions of the preliminary version dated late last year, the United Nations group of experts concluded that the detention violated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil Rights and Politicians and ask the Angolan authorities for their "immediate release".

The same document also calls for compensation and an impartial investigation into the conditions under which the trial was conducted.


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