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Defense

Lawyer denounces “illegal arrest” of Zeca Mutchima after end of preventive

The lawyer of the leader of the Portuguese Protectorate Movement Lunda Tchokwe (MPPLT), José Mateus "Zeca Mutchima", denounced that his client "is illegally imprisoned", after having expired 120 days of preventive detention.

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According to Salvador Freire, in light of the new Penal Code, Zeca Mutchima, detained on February 8, "has already served 120 days of preventive detention and is currently being held illegally".

"More than ever, Zeca Mutchima should already be released, but unfortunately, we don't know why he is still detained. We insist that the Public Prosecutor's Office should send his release because the terms of preventive detention have expired," said the lawyer.

Speaking to Lusa, Salvador Freire referred that the term of preventive detention ended on the 9th of this month, considering that he is facing a "denial of justice", which is configured, he said, in "a crime".

Indicted for the crimes of "association of evildoers and armed rebellion", following the incidents of 30 January in Cafunfo, which resulted in deaths and injuries, Zeca Mutchima has been detained by the Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) in Luanda, since 8 February past.

According to the police, around 300 people linked to the MPPLT, which for years has defended the autonomy of that region rich in mineral resources, tried to invade, in the early hours of January 30, a police station in Cafunfo, Lunda Norte province, and in defense the forces of order and security killed six people.

The police version is contradicted by MPPLT leaders, opposition political parties and local civil society, who speak of more than a dozen deaths.

Zeca Mutchima is appointed by the authorities as the head of this alleged "act of rebellion" which for local citizens was a "peaceful demonstration".

Salvador Freire also regretted the "absence of concrete information" from the SIC about the permanence of Zeca Mutchima in Luanda, referring that the agents of the SIC Luanda "are also extremely concerned about the situation".

"Because they think that something is not going well in the province of Lunda Norte (stage of the incidents in Cafunfo)", he stressed.

"We don't know if there are superior orders or not for Zeca Mutchima to remain in detention, so this is against the principles of human dignity and effectively the State is violating Zeca Mutchima's rights", concluded Salvador Freire.