Justice in Angola

Angolan activist José Marcos Mavungo is released after Supreme Court ruling

After spending more than a year in prison, the activist José Marcos Mavungo was released this Friday, May 20, in Cabinda, after a ruling by the Angolan Supreme Court that found irregularities in the process of his detention. Mavungo was detained in March last year and later sentenced to six years in prison by the Provincial Court of Cabinda for his part in organizing a peaceful protest against human rights abuses and bad governance in the province.

According to information from the activist’s lawyer provided to the Lusa news agency, the ruling was announced after a group of judges from the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court, led by Judge Simão de Sousa Victor, presented arguments that there were no concrete facts proving the crimes for which Mavungo had been charged.

For more than a year, the Angolan authorities have been accused of ordering a series of arbitrary detentions of activists, such as the case of Manuel Nito Alves. At the time, Conectas and other civil organizations joined the international condemnation and pointed out, in a public statement, that the responsibilities assumed internationally by the country compel its government to respect the rights to freedom of assembly, association and expression.

In addition to the civil organizations, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD), together with UN special rapporteurs, also expressed concern at the arrest and the charges brought against Mavungo, concluding that the detention of the activist was arbitrary and calling on the Angolan authorities to immediately release and grant him compensation for the harm suffered.

Find out more

Receive Conectas updates by email