Luanda — ANGOLAN police and the military have allegedly killed ten people as authorities implement coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and quash anti-government protests.
The youngest victim was a 14-year-old boy, according to human rights groups.
The alleged violations around COVID-19 occurred between May and September 2020, perpetrated by members of the National Police and National Armed Forces.
Several recent peaceful protests, including one on 11 November against the high cost of living in Luanda, have also been met with use of force by the police.
“What we are witnessing in Angola is a full-frontal assault on human rights,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa.
The activist said the government of President Joao Lourenco was using security forces to silence people and deny them their rights to the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly.
“What’s even more chilling are the unlawful killings of Angolans, deemed to have broken COVID-19 rules, by security forces,” Muchena said.
Amnesty and Angolan human rights organization (OMUNGA) documented the violations.
“Peaceful protest to demand that leaders do better is not a crime,” said João Malavindele, OMUNGA Executive Director.
The Southern African country imposed restrictions in March to curb the COVID-19 spread.
Angola has confirmed 15 493 covid-19 cases, including 353 deaths.