Centre for Human Rights submits complaint against Angola to the African Commission, requesting for Provisional Measures to protect David Mendes
By Adem Kassie Abebe
Posted on 23 April 2012
The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, has followed with great concern the events that have been unfolding in the Republic of Angola, particularly since David Mendes declared that his political party (Partido Popular) will run against the party of the incumbent President, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, in the upcoming national elections to be held sometime in 2012.
Following Mendes’s declaration of his intention to run in the elections as a competitor to the incumbent President, he has been receiving death threats and had his property and that of the human rights organization (Mãos Livres) and Partido Popular vandalized by unknown persons. The death threats have intensified after he filed a complaint to the Attorney Generals’ Office against the incumbent President accusing him of embezzlement of public funds.
Despite lodging criminal complaints with the police to ensure the investigation of the death threats and other attacks, no investigations have been conducted by Angolan authorities. The Attorney General’s Office has informed Mendes that the Office does not have the competence to investigate the complaints of embezzlement since Angola’s Constitution grants immunity from prosecution to the President. It is the Centre’s firm belief that the death threats and the failure to investigate the complaints not only threaten his right to life, but also violate Mendes’s rights to participate in the governance of his country as well as his right to freedom of expression and association.
The Commission is currently holding its 51st Ordinary Session in Banjul, the Gambia. Coincidentally, the Commission has examined Angola’s 4th and 5th periodic state report. During the examination of the report, serious concerns relating to the freedom of expression and association in Angola were raised during the questioning of the Angolan delegation. The communication submitted to the Commission similarly addresses issues relating, among others, to the right to life, freedom of expression and association.
The Centre for Human Rights (CHR) is a human rights non-governmental organization that advocates for the promotion and protection of the rights of all people in Africa.
For more information, please contact: Prof Frans Viljoen,
Director, Centre for Human Rights
Mr Adem Kassie Abebe,
Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 43 06
The Centre for Human Rights is both an academic department and a non-governmental organisation, and works towards human rights education in Africa, a greater awareness of human rights, the wide dissemination of publications on human rights in Africa, and the improvement of the rights of women, people living with HIV, indigenous peoples, sexual minorities and other disadvantaged or marginalised persons or groups across the continent. More information about the Centre’s internationally acclaimed LLM programmes and Advanced Human Rights Courses is available at www.chr.up.ac.za.