Why do Gandhi and Martin Luther King scare the Angolan government?

March 29, 2016

On 28 March 2016 the New York based Human Rights Foundation strongly condemned the convictions and sentences handed down by a court in Angola against a group of 17 youth activists for reading a book that advocates nonviolent resistance to dictatorship. The court declared the activists — including prominent Angolan rapper Luaty Beirão — guilty of “rebellion against the president” and “planning a coup,” sentencing them to prison terms that range from two to eight years. Beirao, also known by his stage name Ikonoklasta, has been an outspoken critic of the government, calling for a fairer distribution of the southern African state’s oil wealth. His term is five-and-a-half years.

Angola: HRF Condemns Convictions and Demands Release of Youth ActivistsSource: Vice News

Today, 17 young men and women have been punished for holding a book discussion about the nonviolent resistance tactics of heroes like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Dictator José Eduardo dos Santos is so threatened by Angolans’ eagerness for democracy that he is trying to ban their ability to discuss literature he deems subversive,” said HRF president Thor Halvorssen.

All but two activists sentenced today are part of a movement advocating democratic change in Angola known as “Angola 15.” They were arrested and detained in June 2015 after they met to discuss Gene Sharp’s 1993 classic “From Dictatorship to Democracy. A Conceptual Framework for Liberation” — a book on nonviolent tactics human rights defenders may use to resist dictatorship. In December 2015, they were released following an international outcry, but they were ordered to remain under arrest today following the sentencing hearing.

see also: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/12/18/merry-christmas-in-angola-nicki-minaj-performs-but-not-for-human-rights-defenders/

Sources:

Angola: HRF Condemns Convictions and Demands Release of Youth Activists | News | Human Rights Foundation

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-35912505

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