ANGOLA :Pedro Maria Antonio, Paulo Mazungo, André Conde and Domingos Conde Arbitrary Arrest/Torture

AFR 12/008/2007

Further Information on UA 189/07 (AFR 12/007/2007, 20 July 2007)

Arbitrary Arrest/Torture

ANGOLA : Pedro Maria Antonio (m)
Paulo Mazungo (m)
André Conde (m)
Domingos Conde (m)

25 July 2007

The four men named above were released on 23 July, after a summary judgement at Cabinda Provincial Criminal Court. Pedro Maria Antonio was released without charge, while the others were fined and received suspended sentences. The work of the UA network was crucial in achieving the men’s release.

They had all been arbitrarily arrested on 14 July by Provincial Criminal Investigative Police officers in Cabinda province after protesting, at a special Catholic mass, against the appointment of Dom Filomeno Vieira Dias as the Bishop of Cabinda. They were held at the headquarters of the Provincial Criminal Investigative Police in the city of Cabinda, where Paulo Mazungo claims he was beaten. The four were charged with "injuria against a public authority" and "inciting violence against a religious authority". Amnesty International believes that they were arrested solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression.

The court dismissed the charges against Pedro Maria AntÛnio for lack of evidence. Andre Conde and Domingos Conde were both sentenced to two months’ imprisonment for "inciting violence against a religious authority". This was converted to a fine of 20 Kwanza (about US $0.26), to be paid every day for two months. Paulo Mazungo was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, which the court converted to a fine of 40 Kwanza (about US $0.53), to be paid every day for six months. These sentences were suspended for two years.

No further action is requested from the UA network. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.

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