Ver Angola


Angolan activists awarded for work in favor of democracy and human rights

Friends of Angola (FoA), a non-governmental organization, awarded this Friday a group of Angolan activists, in recognition of their work in recent years in defense of democracy and human rights.


Activists Adolfo Campos, Gilson da Silva Moreira "Tanaice Neutro", Hermenegildo André "Gildo das Ruas" and Abraão Pedro Santos “Pensador”, serving in prison since September 2023, Laurinda Gouveia, from the case known as 15+2, were awarded awards. in 2016, and the Observatory of Social Cohesion and Justice of Angola.

The first four activists were arrested, tried and sentenced to two years and five months in prison, for the crimes of disobedience and resistance, following a demonstration in solidarity with motorcycle taxi drivers, due to circulation restrictions on Luanda's main roads, imposed by the authorities.

The ceremony was attended by the families of the winners, who, in their place, received and thanked the statuettes, giving their testimonies about the situation they have been going through.

Speaking to the Lusa agency, the executive director of FoA, Florindo Chivucute, said that the tributes began in 2019, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic they were interrupted. However, the list of activists to be honored “is long” and the attention has now turned to the young people detained.

“The objective was to honor and recognize the work, but also to start the conversation and alert the Angolan executive about the dissatisfaction of civil society in relation to this type of behavior, which is not good for a climate of peace, tranquility, which we intend”, he said.

Florindo Chivucute also highlighted the role of activist Laurinda Gouveia, one of the women “who has done a lot for civil society”, in the work of raising awareness among the female nucleus, for their insertion in the political system.

“It’s important, we also have to have girls participating in the political system to have an inclusive system. Not long ago, she was detained with her son and husband for simply participating in a peaceful demonstration,” he highlighted.

FoA's executive director defended the need to "encourage people and organizations to participate in the democratic system, because that is the only way to make democracy”.

“Democracy cannot be created with just one voice, it is created with several voices and in a climate of tolerance, where we learn to listen to different opinions and to live with these philosophical differences, regardless of our principles or our party color”, he observed. .

The official considered that the democratic rule of law and human rights in Angola are going through a “unfortunately, very weak” moment.

“Should I really go ahead or have the audacity to say that we are going backwards”, said Florindo Chivucute, recalling the hope of “more opening up of civic space and consolidation of the democratic process”, when President João Lourenço took power in 2017.

“After a few years, what we are seeing is the opposite. I remember that when Secretary of State [North American, Antony] Blinken was here, he still talked about this. It is important for the Angolan executive to give more space to civil society. Unfortunately, the situation is weak, we are regressing and we have to turn this situation around. This is possible, it is not just the executive’s job, but each one of us”, he stressed.


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