Hostilities rife ahead of Angola elections

angola flagFrom PEDRO AGOSTO in Luanda, Angola
LUANDA, (CAJ News) – ANGOLA has banned protests and demonstrations by groups not contesting next week’s elections.
Human rights groups are worried elections are to take place in an environment marred by restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly, and limited access to information due to government repression and censorship in media.
Zenaida Machado, Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch, said while governments may place reasonable time and place restrictions on the right to peaceful assembly, electoral campaigns did not permit government to place broad bans on freedom of expression.
“Demonstrations during the electoral process are not exclusive to political parties or individuals contesting elections,” she said.
During the pre-election period, authorities have repeatedly blocked peaceful anti-government protests with intimidation and arbitrary arrest and detention.
On the rare occasions when protests were not prevented, police responded with excessive use of force.
Machado said government must not use security as an excuse to restrict people’s rights to free expression and peaceful assembly.
“They should allow citizens to actively participate in upcoming elections, whether through public debates or street demonstrations, as well as casting their ballots.”
The Ministry of Interior argued street protests posed a security risk.
Angolans will vote in parliamentary polls on Wednesday.
The top candidate of the winning party automatically becomes president.
The People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola of the outgoing president Jose Eduardo dos Santos is tipped to win.

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Posted by on Aug 18 2017. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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