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Catholic University: Angola faces “sentence enforcement challenges” despite “very advanced” legislation

The Center for Human Rights and Citizenship (CDHC) of the Catholic University of Angola considered this Tuesday that the country continues to face “challenges in the execution of sentences and excessive preventive detention”, despite having “very advanced” criminal legislation.


"Within this reform [of Law] is the issue related to the penitentiary system and above all the execution of sentences, we have a very advanced legislation, but it continues to face challenges in the chapter of its execution", said this Tuesday the director from CDHC, Wilson de Almeida João, at the opening of the National Conference on Justice Reform, Penitentiary System and Human Rights.

Angola "continues to face many challenges, with many situations of excessive preventive detention, with also situations that result in difficulties in improving efficiency in terms of the execution of sentences", he said.

"It is in this sense that we believe that more than being an entity that criticizes, we just want to be part of the solution process", he stressed.

For the CDHC director, the initiative aims to be a contribution by civil society to the National Human Rights Strategy (ENDH).

"We at the legislative level have witnessed a major reform of criminal legislation, with the approval of the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code and other subsidiary legislation is being approved. This legislation has a very strong impact on guaranteeing citizens' rights", he stressed.

"Mechanisms were reinforced to protect the rights of citizens and, consequently, to allow Angola to be in the international framework of human dignity", he stressed.

Wilson de Almeida João recalled that the reform of justice also includes the penitentiary system, especially in the area of ​​execution of sentences: "We have a very advanced legislation, but it continues to face challenges in terms of its execution".

Therefore, justified the official, "the CDHC also decided to give its academic contribution" to promote the debate on this issue of the execution of sentences and see how to "make this process more effective respecting the human rights of inmates".

The rector of the Catholic University of Angola said, in her intervention, that the holding of the conference "concretes one of the matrix components of the university's mission, which is to act in solidarity and effectively for the integral development of the person".

The fundamental rights of inmates or people in conflict with the law "constitute an essential part of human dignity and that the Catholic University is called to defend in its relationship with the social environment to which it belongs", said Maria da Assunção.

The Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Francisco Queiroz, considered that the conference converges with two objectives of the Executive, namely the National Human Rights Strategy (ENDH), approved in 2019, and the reform of Justice and Law.

The ENDH "fundamentally aims to guarantee people's access to their political, civil, social, cultural rights and personal dignity".

For these rights to be realized "it is necessary that the citizen is aware of them", he maintained.

"That is why one of the fundamental axes of the ENDH is training and capacity building in human rights. In this perspective, the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights has established protocols with 15 universities", highlighted Francisco Queiroz.

Spreading specific, technical, scientific knowledge about the rights of university students are among the purposes of the protocols, whose initiative will also be extended to secondary and basic education institutions.

"This is exactly why the executive is working with the Ministry of Education in order to teach the subject of Human Rights right away in basic training. Therefore, we are in the presence here of a realization of the National Strategy for Human Rights", concluded the ruler.

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