The American Bar Association, ACAT France, Front Line Defenders, the Southern African Litigation Centre and the global law firm Morrison & Foerster LLP -- welcomed the opinion by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) condemning as arbitrary and in violation of international law the arrest and conviction of Angolan human rights activist José Marcos Mavungo. The UNWGAD has called on the government of Angola to immediately release Mavungo and grant him compensation.
"Freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are fundamental to a democracy and no one should be detained for legitimately exercising these rights," said ABA President Paulette Brown. "The ABA calls upon the government of Angola to respect the UNWGAD's decision and immediately release José Marcos Mavungo."
Mavungo was arrested and detained in March 2015 on charges of rebellion for organizing a demonstration on human rights violations and bad governance in the Cabinda region of Angola. He was convicted in September 2015 and sentenced to 6 years in prison.