Ver Angola


Elections: march stopped by police in Luanda and journalist detained for a few hours

This Wednesday, the police prevented a protest march in Luanda against the electoral process and detained at least a dozen demonstrators, including a journalist from Voz da América who was covering the initiative.


Speaking to Lusa, journalist Coque Mukuta said that he was filming near the Santa Ana cemetery, where the concentration would take place, when he was approached by the police at around 9:30 am.

"I was capturing images of the place where there wasn't really a demonstration, just a few people scattered around. The police stopped me and said that I didn't have to film there, because I didn't have permission", he reported.

Even after identifying himself as a journalist and showing his professional card, Coque Mukuta was forced to get into a police van and hand over his service passes, as well as his cell phone, to the police.

The journalist said that in the van there were already two young people who had attended the march called by civil society and that he wanted to draw the attention of the Constitutional Court to the alleged irregularities that are being committed during the electoral process in Angola.

According to Coque Mukuta, the van initially went to a police station, but ended up returning to the Santa Ana cemetery where the journalist was released after spending a few hours in detention.

Laurinda Gouveia, one of the promoters of the march, told Lusa that there are at least 13 activists detained, including one of the signatories of the manifesto that civil society organizations intended to deliver to the National Electoral Commission (CNE).

"They arrested our companions, as soon as people passed by the Santa Ana cemetery they were being searched, they could not advance, all the young people. Our brothers were at the scene, but the police ended up taking them. More than 13 brothers are being detained," she revealed.

She also explained that the march did not take place because the activists "who already know about the behavior of the police" chose to divide into groups, some of which remained in the cemetery and others went to the CNE, which would be the point of arrival of the march, to deliver the manifest.

"Unfortunately, they were repressed, they were beaten, we don't know where they are, but we came to bring our documentation to the CNE", he stressed, as he left the body's former headquarters, although he admits the distrust towards the institutions, "because they are at the service of the party of power".

"Our march was to demand above all that, that the Constitutional Court take a stand, give us an answer," she added.

The manifesto, already delivered to the Constitutional Court, points out a series of violations of the law and irregularities, including the hiring of the Spanish company Indra to manage the electoral process, the constitution of the CNE, composed mainly by members of the ruling party, instrumentalization public media and security forces, and names of people killed on the electoral roll.

The general elections take place on 24 August and are contested by eight political formations, with the participation of more than 14 million voters.

Contacted by Lusa, the Luanda police spokesman, Nestor Goubel, confirmed the "attempted demonstration" and said he would find out about the arrests, sending clarifications for later.

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