20 February 2013

Angola: Spotlight

The latest press coverage on corruption, human rights abuses, violations of freedom of the press and socio-economic exclusion in Angola:

AIAC: When videos of abuses go viral in Angola

February 14, 2013: Less than two years ago, at the height of the Arab Spring, President dos Santos scathingly denounced social media and as a direct result the ruling party unsuccessfully tried to introduce a bill in parliament that would make it illegal to share videos, pictures, and recordings without the subjects consent.

As Louise Redvers reported for the BBC back in May 2011, "under the proposal ... anyone criticizing the government on social media sites such as Facebook ... could have faced up to 12 years of prison."

Huff Post: Book tying Angola generals to diamonds protected

February 13, 2013: Angola received a boost to its free speech from Portugal, which refused to allow Angolan generals to stop the publication of a book exposing corruption and human rights abuses in the southern African country's lucrative diamond mines.

The dismissal of the challenge, brought against Angolan writer Rafael Marques and his publisher over his book "Blood Diamonds: Corruption and Torture in Angola," represents a free-speech victory for a nation where the government has long been accused of corruption and mismanagement of oil and diamond riches.

While the challenge played out in Portugal, Angola's former colonial ruler, Marques said the court case could have bankrupted and effectively silenced him while frightening others investigating government corruption.

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