Democracy award winner charged with insulting Angola’s state


Two journalists in Angola face charges of insulting the state for an article about an allegedly unethical real estate deal involving the attorney general, The Associated Press reports:

Rafael Marques de Morais, a human rights advocate whose Maka Angola website posts articles about alleged state corruption, said he was informed of the May 12 indictment on Tuesday and that he has five days to contest it before a judge sets a trial date.

The Maka Angola article about the real estate deal was published in the weekly newspaper “O Crime” by journalist Mariano Bras Lourenco, who also has been indicted….. Marques, who was jailed in 1999 after criticizing dos Santos in an article, said he believes authorities are concerned that Maka Angola is “influencing opinion” and that the case against him and Lourenco is an attempt to “sow some confusion to prevent people from reposting and forwarding critical information.”

Marques was indicted upon his return from Washington, DC, where he was honored, along with four other anti-corruption activists, with the National Endowment for Democracy’s 2017 Democracy Award.

“Rafael Marques’ relentless efforts to expose corruption in Angola despite constant harassment and legal and physical threats to himself are exactly why the Endowment chose to honor him,” said NED president Carl Gershman. “We will be following this case closely, and I am sure many others in the media and international community who know and respect Rafael’s important work also be paying close attention,” he added.

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