Target: President of Angola, José Eduardo dos Santos
Goal: Stop suppressing free speech by allowing peaceful protests, independent press, and non-partisan state media.
Amidst an upcoming election, the Angolan government has been quelling citizens’ rights to free speech through peaceful anti-government protests by inflicting violence and criminalization of participants. The government must end its persecution of peaceful protesters and the media in order to have fair and peaceful elections. Please sign this petition and urge President José Eduardo dos Santos to call off police and security agents forcibly disturbing citizens practicing their right to free speech.
According to the Human Rights Watch, government officials have been interrupting peaceful protests by beating and arresting demonstrators, organizers, and opposition politicians, while obstructing and intimidating journalists. Allegations against violent authority figures need to be investigated and charges brought forth for impeding citizens’ rights and inflicting unnecessary violence and criminalization. The use of plainclothes security agents has allowed government officials access to protesters, journalists, and media opposition participants for maximum hampering in their rights to free speech and freedom of media content. The Human Rights Watch reports, “In several cases, the state-owned media sought to compel activists in custody to make incriminating remarks about opposition parties.”
With upcoming elections, Angolans have been demonstrating more often for the resignation of long-serving President José Eduardo dos Santos. Having served for 32 years, the President is likely to reign again thanks to an abundance of financial resources and control of state media. Protesters accuse Dos Santos of inappropriately and unfairly managing oil revenues, suppressing human rights, and doing little to end poverty. Veterans of the Angolan Civil War have protested against unpaid pensions and opposition parties have fingered government officials for rigging past and upcoming elections.
Please sign this petition and call on President José Eduardo dos Santos to allow freedom of speech and media in the name of human rights and a fair election.
Dear President Dos Santos,
Recent peaceful protesters and media opposition have been met by violent thwarts from Angolan police, thereby preventing them the right to freedom of speech. According to Human Rights Watch, “Police and plainclothes security agents have forcibly dispersed anti-government protests, beating and arresting peaceful demonstrators, organizers, and opposition politicians, and obstructing and intimidating journalists.” This type of government intervention is a complete disruption of human rights and it must stop during this important election period.
Reportedly, protesters are calling for a new president in light of mismanagement of oil reserves, inefficient aid for the poor, and suppression of human rights, obviously evidenced here. Regardless of the reason for why protesters are present, it is their right to hold peaceful demonstrations in opposition of the government and state-owned media. As reigning President, it is your responsibility to listen to citizens and put their best interests forward in making decisions for your country.
Please stop using excessive force and violence to quell citizens’ rights to freedom of speech. Allow peaceful protests and unbiased media to demonstrate without fear of violent repercussions from government officials and police. Please call for investigations into suspected violence and prosecution of guilty parties.
[Your Name Here]
voiceforhumanrights.org via Yahoo