• Tuesday, Aug 03, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:45 am

Angola activists claim 387 missing after anti-govt protest

  • Published at 06:02 pm October 29th, 2020
A Police officer prepares to fire teargas towards protesters during an anti-government demonstration, in Luanda on October 24, 2020 AFP

Protest organizers have meanwhile announced plans for another round of demonstrations on November 11

Angolan anti-government protest organizers on Wednesday claimed that almost 400 citizens remain unaccounted for since police cracked down on demonstrations last week, as authorities said only 103 have been detained.

Hundreds took to the streets in the capital Luanda on Saturday to protest against poor living conditions and demand a new date for local elections delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Anti-riot police fired tear gas and beat up protesters to disperse the crowd, which had blocked roads with tree trunks and burning tyres.

The government said over 100 people were arrested at the scene, including six journalists covering the event, sparking condemnation from political opposition and rights groups. The media workers were freed without charge.

But protest organizers claim that figure is underestimated.

"At the end of this scenario, almost 500 people, including protesters and others, were missing," said the civil society groups in a joint statement on Wednesday, adding that 387 citizens still remained unaccounted for.

The groups, calling themselves Movimento Revolucionario de Angola, called the protests and received the backing of the main opposition UNITA.

The group condemned the "unnecessary and disproportionate" use of force by the police.

They claimed security forces fired live ammunition at the crowd, alleging two activists were killed and 50 others wounded.

Angolan police did not immediately respond to AFP requests for comment on Wednesday.

The government had previously confirmed the 103 arrests but said there were no fatalities.

The detainees remain behind bars as they await a decision on their fate.

Lengthy court proceedings began on Monday and are expected to drag into next week, as testimonies are being heard individually.

Saturday's protests were the latest show of disenchantment towards the government by Angolans in recent months.

Such events were relatively rare and often targeted by security forces during the reign of ex-president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who stepped down in 2017.

But demonstrations have become more frequent under President Joao Lourenco.

Several marches against alleged state corruption, joblessness and police brutality took place this year, most of which unfolded peacefully.

 Protest organizers have meanwhile announced plans for another round of demonstrations on November 11.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail