A protest in the Angolan province of Cabinda ended with the arrest of nine people, lawyer and human rights activist Lusa Arão Bula Tempo told Lusa arão.
Among the detainees are two of his children, he said.
The march, called by a group of human rights activists and members of Cabindan civil society, was not authorized by the provincial government, which cited pandemic containment measures to justify the ban.
The promoters of the demonstration, whose objective was to challenge “the social, economic and public health degradation“, however decided to maintain the initiative because it was a “right enshrined in the Constitution” .
Despite the rain, the demonstrators “marched in bare feet” until the demonstration was “interrupted by the repressive force of the police,” Arão Tempo said, indicating that two of the demonstrators had been “tortured”.
“I kept in touch with the commander, I told them there was no constitutional reason to allow the detention of defenseless citizens whose rights are enshrined in the Constitution,” he added, claiming to have received assurances that they would be released, with the obligation to pay a fine of 15,000 kwanzas (19 euros) within 72 hours.
The nine activists were finally released at around 6.30 p.m. local time (5.30 p.m. Lisbon), with a notification for payment of a fine of 200,000 kwanzas (258 euros), which the lawyer admits to contesting, the activist and lawyer said.
“I think this notification will deserve a challenge for not being in accordance with the facts invoked by the police and that they should deserve to be examined by the court, if it was a violation of the law and the Constitution ”, added Arão Bula Tempo.
In a letter to the governor of Cabinda province, signed by 42 people and published on Wednesday, the demonstrators said the situation in which they intended to protest “has lasted for 45 years“, without the government having kept its guarantees and promises of intervention.
Unemployment, deep poverty, death from hunger, constraints or obstacles to freedom of speech, citizenship, unfair trials and sentences and other fundamental rights are on the list of issues that have led to protest.
The document also called for dialogue “for the pacification of Cabindian territory”.
This province, geographically discontinuous from Angola and rich in oil, is the scene of a dispute led by the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC), which claims the independence of this territory, claiming that it was a Portuguese protectorate, as established in the Treaty of Simulambuco, signed in 1885.
Source : Reporter Angola