29 people were arrested on Saturday in Cabinda when they were mobilizing to carry out a protest march against the violation of human rights in the enclave. However, they were released, but will have to report to the police this Monday (18.12), according to activist Aarão Bula Tempo, who promises to announce new protest actions.
Aarão Bula Tempo (ABT): When they went to the place where they were supposed to concentrate before the march, passing through a police station, human rights activists were questioned, arrested and beaten. They were taken directly to the criminal investigation. Other activists were caught at the concentration site in Chiloango.
What did police officers claim to stop the activists?
o this day, they cannot claim anything. On November 21, the activists sent a letter to the governor, informing him of the march. On December 2, when the pamphlets were already pasting, some activists were arrested and we were invited to a meeting with the vice governor. The meeting took place and we were convinced that there was no ban. The law itself says that when the governor is informed, he gives a receipt – and they did. Within 24 hours, if they want to ban, they must comment on their decision, stating their reasons – which did not happen. Yesterday [Saturday, December 16], surprisingly, arrests take place. I personally went to surrender, because I am the coordinator of the march. I said ‘I came to surrender and, if there are reasons, I surrender myself to be arrested’. They said they couldn’t and I went home. There was a lot of movement, even from the red berets, the commands, the Rapid Intervention Police and the National Police, who started the manhunt to stop the activists.
Are protesters still being held?
ABT: No, at 23 hours on Saturday they released some and others left later. Some will have to report to the police station this Monday (18.01) to answer. It means that this continues.
ABT:There is no expectation of change in Cabinda. The problems that exist in Cabinda are not the same as in other provinces in Angola. Here, they even forbid us to demonstrate, while Luanda and other provinces continue to demonstrate. There are reasons. And those reasons must be set out for everyone to understand. The Angolan Government is afraid of a demonstration, because of the prevailing political situation in Cabinda. It cannot be understood that a citizen of Cabinda is discriminated against from citizenship. When we are detained they call us FLEC (Front of Liberation of the State of Cabinda), they call us independenceists and only later Cabindas. We have no identity. There should be no changes, because João Lourenço worked with José Eduardo dos Santos and is an accomplice in underdevelopment and social degradation. He said clearly that they could not build the port in Cabinda because they would give the province independence. In order to develop Cabinda, so that Cabindas feel their freedom, Cabinda’s problem must be solved unequivocally. The people demand their self-determination.