Angola: UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention calls for release of human rights activist José Marcos Mavungo

Source: FrontLine Defenders

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) has called on the government of Angola to immediately release Angolan human rights activist José Marcos Mavungo and grant him compensation.

The American Bar Association, ACAT France, Front Line Defenders, the Southern African Litigation Centre and the global law firm Morrison & Foerster LLP –– welcomed the opinion by the UNWGAD condemning as arbitrary and in violation of international law the arrest and conviction of José Marcos Mavungo.

“Freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are fundamental to a democracy and no one should be detained for legitimately exercising these rights,” said ABA President Paulette Brown. “The ABA calls upon the government of Angola to respect the UNWGAD’s decision and immediately release José Marcos Mavungo.”

Mavungo was arrested and detained in March 2015 on charges of rebellion for organizing a demonstration on human rights violations and bad governance in the Cabinda region of Angola. He was convicted in September 2015 and sentenced to 6 years in prison.

The petition to the UNWGAD was prepared by Morrison & Foerster LLP, submitted by the Southern African Litigation Centre and supported by ACAT France, the American Bar Association Center for Human Rights and Front Line Defenders. The ABA Center for Human Rights through its Justice Defenders Program, which coordinates pro bono legal support to human rights defenders, recruited Morrison & Foerster LLP to prepare this petition.

 

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