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Students file criminal complaint against police "for brutal assaults"

The Angolan Students' Movement (MEA) announced this Wednesday that it will file a criminal complaint with the Attorney General's Office (PGR) against the national police due to the "brutal aggressions" against students during Saturday's protests in Luanda.

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The MEA's position was presented at a press conference on Saturday's demonstration, in which students protested against the rise in tuition fees and fees in the country's educational institutions.

According to the MEA, the criminal complaint against the police officers should be filed with the OPG on Friday, lamenting the "violent aggression" of which they say they were the target and which resulted in "20 injured students, 15 fainted and arbitrary arrests."

The MEA's national secretary for Higher Education, Laurindo Mande, who presented a press release, also accused the police of "stealing seven of the demonstrators' phones, monetary values, and other possessions."

For the MEA, the national police violated a previous agreement about the end of the demonstration, in Largo dos Ministérios, because the responsible of the MEA "deployed in the place more than 100 rapid intervention agents that assaulted the demonstrators".

Speaking to Lusa, the activist and coordinator of the movement for municipalities in Angola, Kambolo Tiaka-Tiaka, one of those assaulted, along with his 16-year-old daughter, who was injured in an arm, said the police took his cell phone and kept money.

"My daughter was dragged to the car and suffered injuries to an arm," he lamented.

Police on Saturday dispersed with gunfire and tear gas the demonstration of students protesting in Luanda against tuition hikes, after a peaceful march.

The "high" price of fees and emoluments in public and private institutions and "lack of quality in education" were some of the purposes of the demonstration promoted in the capital by the MEA.

More than 250 students and members of civil society responded affirmatively to the MEA's appeal and concentrated in Largo das Heroínas, where before the beginning of the march the students expelled the president of the National Youth Council (CNJ), Isaías Kalunga, who had to leave escorted by the "fury" of the youth.

"Kalunga out" was the cry of protest against the presence of the leader of the CNJ, who did not escape even a bottle of water thrown at him from behind.

This Wednesday, the MEA "repudiated and distanced itself" from the incidents that contributed to the expulsion of the CNJ leader, having "reproached the negative behavior on the part of some activists."

"It was not our wish, so we protected him [Isaías Kalunga] so that he would not be the target of aggression," Laurindo Mande said.

The directive commission of the CNJ repudiated, in a statement, the acts and "condemned" the attempted aggression against its leader, for which it blamed political party militants.

The Luanda police, in turn, announced on Saturday that it had arrested three demonstrators, following the student protests, assuring, however, that they had been released later and that "there were no records of injuries.

The spokesman of the Provincial Police Command in Luanda, chief inspector Nestor Goubel, said that the police officers acted to "restore the assumptions agreed upon" with the organizers about the route of the march.

The MEA also reported that a demonstration also took place in Huambo province, with 12 detainees and three injured, and in Uige province, with five detainees, including a Chinese citizen who "filmed violence against demonstrators.

In the province of Moxico, eastern Angola, there were no arrests and the MEA "praised" the posture of the police in that circumscription.

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