Dying for Freedom: Activist on Hunger Strike in Angola


They gathered to read a book. They met because of a hope, dream, desire of speaking freely in the press and on the streets about the need for change; to live a life without fear of violent repression of protest marches; to see an end to corruption. Instead they were arrested, tortured, held in solitary confinement, denied access to their families, legal counsel and medical attention. They are the #Angola15.

Luaty Beirão was arrested on June 20th in Luanda, the capital of Angola. He and 12 others assembled to discuss a book about peaceful protest measures intended to bring policy changes in government. The police raided the home, arresting all in attendance as well as several others over the following days. They were held over three months without charges until this week when they were officially accused of rebellion and plotting a coup. Luaty and several others arrested are protesting their detention through a hunger strike. Luaty is now in critical condition. Amnesty is demanding all those arrested be released immediately.

There has been a marked increase in repression of freedom of expression, association and assembly in Angola in recent years. Amnesty has documented arrests and trials that violate international justice norms, the violent suppression of peaceful protest, killing of activists by state security forces, and attempts to silence independent media through intimidation and prosecution for defamation and slander.

Angola must do better. There must be an end to politically motivated arrests and prosecutions designed to silence dissent. There must be political space to allow citizens to express their justified grievances. The government must cease to attack those who bring human rights issues to attention. Angolans deserve better. Luaty Beirão and his fellow detainees are literally starving to have their basic rights be respected.

This post is the first in a series of blogs detailing the shrinking political space in several sub-Saharan nations through increasing repression of civil and political rights.


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13 thoughts on “Dying for Freedom: Activist on Hunger Strike in Angola

  1. How/where can we take action for this case? The banner saying "Take action now" isn't clickable, and I can't locate other action-links on this page.

    • Hi Tania-
      Most of the press has been international coverage, particularly in Portugal and on the continent. There has been some US press covering Angola but its minimal. Alot of it has to do with language issues as well as past historic relationships during the Cold War leading to a lack of awareness in US based media. We are doing what we can to make sure people in the US are aware of what's happening and staying informed.

  2. This happens way too often and mostly under wraps. It a very good thing to bring this issue to the front. They wanted a solution to a problem in a peaceful way. They might die because of their push for free speech. The least we should do is tell the world that this is happening. the best is to find a way to release them and change Angola's policies!

  3. I admire this kind of people who don`t worry about its own suffering but struggling for people from whole the country. Hope somebody will pay attention on it.

  4. Hi I've seen and heard of peoples rights in Africa being suppressed and oppressed in certain areas especially regarding issues of peoples rights to speak freely concerning Democracy. I'm glad to read that the #Angola 15 are still alive. They need water? and need to be released and fed. I personally believe that Democracy is still perfecting itself and needs more participants in order to make it more perfect. At this point I am favoring the French version.Perhaps more variations as well? JH

  5. Corrupt regime! All they want is to get their hands on the money this rich country has but that belongs to the people! Free Luaty now!

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