Angola: Union Slams Detention of Journalists

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Luanda — Angolan Journalists Union (SJA) condemned Monday the arrest by Police officers of journalists during a demonstration held on Saturday in Luanda.

In its communique, SJA decried the successive and arbitrary arrests of the professionals in the exercise of their functions.

It states that this kind of attitude " remove the National Police's moral authority to demand the citizens to abide by the country's Laws".

Four journalists from Radio Essencial had been arrested, along with their driver, as well as three journalists from TV Zimbo and a photographer from French news agency AFP, are said to have been detained.

The detention constitutes not only the contempt for the profession of journalists but also the Constitution itself, reads the Union's communiqué.

"The National Police have once again set a bad example, for an institution wishing to be republican and in the service of citizens," the statement said.

SJA challenges the National Police to justify, in the light of law and the right, the repeated abuses by the staff against the right of journalists to exercise the Freedom of the Press.

On the other hand, the SJA thanked the Minister of Telecommunications, Information Technologies and Social Communication for the collaboration and efforts to release journalists, who were arbitrarily detained.

It calls on society to cease with threats to the physical integrity of journalists from the Public Television of Angola (TPA), despite recognising the right it has to demand plural and quality journalism.

The SJA recalls that, in a democratic and legal State, any offense to expectations or rights must be remedied by the bodies created by the State, and not through aggression.

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