Target: Jorge Rebelo Chicoti, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Goal: Release ailing human rights activist arrested for planning a peaceful protest.
José Marcos Mavungo, a seriously ill human rights activist involved in planning a protest against government corruption in Angola, was recently arrested. He is facing a jail sentence of 10-15 years as a result of his peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression. Sign the petition and urge authorities in Angola to drop the charges against Mavungo and free him immediately and unconditionally.
Mavungo, who “suffers from serious cardiac issues and a liver inflammation,” has been denied access to his personal physician while in prison, Amnesty International reports. He has also been receiving visits from military officers late at night, although the reasons for these visits have remained undisclosed.
In addition to concerns over his treatment in prison, there are questions regarding the justice of the charges being brought against Mavungo. Authorities initially charged him with sedition, but after making “further investigations” upped the charge to rebellion, which carries a harsher sentence. The investigation did not reveal any new facts that would justify such a change.
It is imperative that human rights defenders be allowed to peacefully carry out their work free from retaliation by the government and law enforcement. Sign the petition and demand that the charges against José Marcos Mavungo be dropped as soon as possible, and that in the meantime he has access to medical care and is safe from torture and ill-treatment.
I am writing to express my deep concern for the well-being of José Marcos Mavungo, an activist arrested solely as a result of his peaceful human rights work. I demand that the charges against him be dropped and that he be released immediately and unconditionally.
Mavungo suffers from a number of health conditions, including “serious cardiac issues and a liver inflammation,” Amnesty International reports. He has not been allowed regular access to his physician during his detention, and he has been receiving nightly visits from military officers for reasons unknown–a development that raises concerns of torture or ill-treatment.
Furthermore, the charges against Mavungo are clearly politically motivated rather than based on fact or law. Initially charged with sedition, he was eventually charged with rebellion following an “investigation” that turned up no new information that would merit such a change. The new charges are harsher and carry a prison sentence of up to fifteen years.
I urge you to do what is right. Drop the charges and release Mavungo as quickly as possible, and in the meantime ensure that he is kept safe from torture and ill-treatment and granted access to any medical care he may require.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Wisconsin Historical Society