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Manifestation is not a motive for murder, says father of young man killed in Luanda

The father of the young man who died following a demonstration in Luanda on November 11 declared that the protest "does not constitute grounds for murder" and promised to demand justice in front of the Attorney General's Office (PGR).

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On Friday, the PGR released a statement that the second autopsy of the young man was not performed because the family lawyer refused the procedure after being denied the presence of a photographer and made the corpse available to relatives for the funeral.

In a press conference held this Saturday in Luanda, Alfredo de Matos, father of Inocêncio de Matos, who died in circumstances still to be clarified, reaffirmed that the 26-year-old student was killed by the police.

"Innocêncio lost his life in particularly brutal circumstances, he was murdered while lying prostrate with his hands in the air," he lamented.

"It is in our interest to hold Innocent's funeral as soon as possible (...), however, not without first performing the autopsy," added the young man's father, adding that the family has "been encountering countless difficulties" and was pressured to have the medical-legal expertise done before the lawyer was notified.

Alfredo de Matos urged "earnestly" support to church entities, traditional authorities, the media, civil society and public opinion to help "provide ultimate justice" so that similar situations would not happen again.

"The manifestation is not a problem, a manifestation is a consequence of the problem", he emphasized, considering that the protests are the "complaint of those who suffer" and "do not constitute a reason for murder".

Alfredo de Matos assured that right after the press conference he would go to the OPG: "I will post myself in front of the OPG until the OPG does justice for my son. I'm not going to retaliate, I'm not going to make a mockery, but I'll be there until the attorney general does justice.

According to the PGR, according to the first corpse examination and autopsy, the expert concluded that the cause of death was traumatic brain injury with fracture of the skull bones and injury to the brain, resulting from bodily injury with a blunt object.

Eyewitnesses, however, assure that the young man was shot and died at the scene, this being also the understanding of Inocêncio de Matos' relatives who blame the police for the death.

The family's lawyer, Zola Bambi, accused the PGR this Saturday of hindering the process, adopting "procedures to hinder" the course of the proceedings.

"We will make the truth be brought to light and to the courts," assured the president of the Observatory for Social Cohesion and Justice.

In a statement to Lusa on Friday, Zola Bambi said that the autopsy should have been performed that morning in the central morgue of Josina Machel hospital, but it did not happen, as the representative of the Public Ministry did not allow the entry of a photographer, as had been requested.

"At no time were we told that the photographer could not be present", he stressed.

Activist Laura Macedo, also present at the press conference, said that both the family, the observatory, the lawyers and the doctor "are willing to wait "for the counter-objection to be made through the law and the conditions they consider to be the right ones".

Laura Macedo argued that "the PGR can not decline" and to "she will be charged with all the responsibilities of what happens to the corpse.

In the last 30 days, Luanda has been the scene of two demonstrations harshly repressed by the police and which resulted in arrests and at least one confirmed death.

This Saturday members of Angolan civil society, including Laura Macedo, called another protest against corruption and impunity.

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