Ver Angola


Amnesty delivers thousands of signatures to the Angolan embassy for the release of 'Tanaice Neutro'

Amnesty International delivered this Wednesday, at the Angolan embassy in Lisbon, around 2,200 signatures, calling for the release of Angolan activist Gilson Moreira 'Tanaice Neutro', arrested in Luanda, despite the court ordering his release.

: Ampe Rogério/Lusa
Ampe Rogério/Lusa  

In a press release, which the Lusa agency had access to, the non-governmental organization (NGO) for the defense of human rights stresses that the petition for the freedom of 'Tanaice Neutro', "Angolan musician and activist who uses her art to express opinion on social issues such as poverty, inequality, corruption and bad governance" will spread to other countries.

"Copies of the signatures will also be delivered to the Angolan embassies in Madrid and Pretoria, in South Africa, as well as to the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights in Angola", says the Amnesty note.

According to the NGO, 'Tanaice Neutro' was arrested in January 2022, and in October, the court sentenced him to one year and three months of suspended sentence and ordered his immediate release, due to his state of health – which has not yet happened, seven months later.

"With his health deteriorating, on May 16, his lawyer filed a request for 'habeas corpus' which, so far, has not received a response, and whose deadline for the same has already expired last Monday according to Number 5 of Article 292 of the Angolan Code of Criminal Procedure", reads the document.

The signatures delivered this Wednesday were collected over the last week, "including in an action integrated in the Coldplay concerts, which took place in Coimbra on the 17th, 18th, 20th and 21st of May".

"In addition to these actions, Amnesty International will continue to work on a campaign for the release of 'Tanaice Neutro', but also for freedom of expression and peaceful demonstration in Angola", adds the note.

The organization considers that 'Tanaice Neutro' "is yet another young Angolan activist paying too high a price for exercising his freedom of expression".

"Angolan authorities have strongly reprimanded any dissenting voice, failing to understand the importance of civil society and the work of human rights defenders in promoting a more just and egalitarian society", highlights the statement.

"We will not stop until 'Tanaice Neutro' is free, because it is not just her freedom that is at stake", warns Amnesty International, recalling that they work "for people's freedom, whether in Angola or around the world", says Paulo Fontes, director of campaigns at Amnesty International Portugal, quoted in the note.

In the last three years, stresses the document, Angola has seen "a sharp increase in repressive measures against those who exercise their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly".

"Among the most severe forms of repression used by the authorities are arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial executions", indicates the organization for the defense of human rights.

"Angolan authorities have shown a frightening determination to silence dissent and undue limitation of the population's rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. Some activists and demonstrators have been put behind bars, while others have been killed just for peacefully exercising their right to demonstrate," said Vongai Chikwanda, Amnesty International's Acting Deputy Director for Southern Africa.

'Tanaice Neutro' "is one of those activists arrested for making music an instrument of freedom of expression", observes Amnesty International.

The Angolan activist was arrested on January 13, 2022, "because of a video that he allegedly published, in which he called the President [of the Republic] a "clown" and the Angolan authorities "ignorant".

"He remains in prison, despite the deterioration of his health and the urgent need to undergo an operation. However, the authorities have denied him adequate medical treatment, which could amount to torture or other ill-treatment", maintains the NGO.


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