Sunday, April 3, 2016
U.S. Issues Statement on Sentencing of Angolan Activists
Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs
Department of State
March 31, 2016
The United States believes the harsh sentences levied this week by an Angolan court against the Angola 15+2 activists threaten the exercise of freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly. Both freedoms are enshrined in the Angolan Constitution, protected under Angola’s international human rights obligations, and are core values of any strong and functioning democracy.
We are also concerned about reports of procedural irregularities and lack of transparency in the trial, which raise questions about whether the rule of law has prevailed in this case.
We are encouraged, however, that the trial of the 15+2 activists has become a matter of national Angolan debate. We call on the Government of Angola to protect Angolans’ constitutional right to engage in peaceful, open, and public discourse.