Ver Angola


Luanda denies restrictions on freedom of the press and “does not know” causes of police action against the portal

The Government announced this Friday that it "did not have access to the report" on the reasons for the police action on TV Camunda News and denied "restrictions" to freedom of the press in the country.


According to the national director of Information at the Ministry of Telecommunications, Information Technologies and Social Communication (MTTICS), the department "finds it difficult to issue a concrete opinion" in relation to the actions of the SIC (Criminal Investigation Service) on Camundanews TV, which broadcasts online content.

"The Ministry did not have access to the report that evokes the reasons or causes of this police action and, in this sense, we have some difficulty in issuing a concrete opinion in relation to this", said this Friday João Demba, in statements to Lusa.

Without going into more detail, João Demba denied, on the other hand, that there are restrictions on freedom of the press in the country, an issue that has constitutional protection, considering that the complaints made by opponents, journalists and non-governmental organizations "seem to be one more way of pressure on the state".

"I do not believe that the State intends to restrict freedoms, for example, these are just opinions, when we know that there is an international institution that annually publishes a report on the press freedom index", he replied when asked about the alleged pressure on Camunda News.

Also according to the national information director of the MTTICS, in the last five years Angola has progressed in the press freedom index, a report, he stressed, where "some of the people who say they are serious in Angola answer the questionnaires".

"Angola only improved its position in this index", insisted João Demba.

The owner of TV Camundanews assumed, Wednesday, that he decided to suspend the broadcast of the online channel due to the pressure he has been subjected to by SIC and the feeling of insecurity that affected the entire team.

Speaking to Agência Lusa, David Boio explained that he was called to the authorities to be heard as a declarant because of a program by the social activist 'Gangsta', suspected of criminal association, instigation to rebellion, instigation to civil disobedience and outrage to the President of the Republic .

"They called me to go to SIC as a declarant. I went there, but in practice, more than asking questions about that process, they asked questions about our portal", said David Boio.

Accompanied by his lawyer, the businessman explained that, in May last year, they had received a notification from the Ministry of Social Communication to present the documents authorizing the operation of the portal.

"At the time, we responded to the ministry, saying that we were unaware, according to the analysis we made of the Press Law, we did not find a legal framework for the contents that are simply on social networks and the Government never responded back to us", he stressed.

'Gangsta', a critic of power, refuses to comply with the term of identity and residence imposed on him by the court, finding himself camped in an uncertain location.

Asked about the state of press freedom in Angola in recent years, David Boio highlighted that "before 2022, before the elections, they [the Government] did not give much importance to this internet thing, they always said that this is nothing, that Angolans don't have access to the internet, but they were surprised last year".

The importance of the channel "came a lot of attention when we did an interview with Adalberto [leader of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola], which had a lot, really a lot of audience", he underlined.

The Union of Angolan Journalists (SJA) considered the pressure on the owner of Camundanews to suspend the broadcast of journalistic content as an attack on freedom of the press for an alleged violation of the Press Law.

Lusa contacted SIC's national directorate spokesperson, Manuel Halaiwa, who promised to comment on the matter later today.


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