Amnesty International: 'Angola Must Give Journalist Free Trial'

Amnesty International in Portugal has is calling on Angola to ensure a free trial for Angolan activist and journalist Rafael Marques.

The local branch of Amnesty International gave in a petition to the Angolan embassy in Lisbon with the signatures of more than 38,000 people calling on Angola to give “all the guarantees of a fair trial”.

Rafael Marques was sentenced in May 2015 to six years in prison, suspended for two years, for slandering 12 people including members of the Angolan armed forces, following the publication of his book Blood Diamonds – Corruption and Torture in Angola) in 2011, The Portugal News reported.

The book claims that army generals and two mining corporations were accomplices in human rights abuses in the country's diamond mining areas of the Lunda, .

Amnesty International Portugal President, Susana Gaspar, said, “We want the Angolan government to begin respecting, or at least showing they respect human rights. We want this visibility for the respect for human rights." Gaspar said, “Given that, from 1 March, Angola assumed the chairmanship of the UN Security Council, hopefully it will also meet the recommendations of this body, to accept the recommendations by the universal periodic review, by the Special Rapporteur and, above all, the new decisions by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.”