Angola: Thousands of African nationals suffer Serious Human Rights’ Violations

Press release
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During the last few days Angolan security forces have arrested and arbitrarily detained several African nationals who they also subjected to cruel and inhuman treatment. Our organisations condemn these serious violations of migrants’ human rights and urge the Angolan authorities to put an end to this violence and to respect the international and regional legal instruments that Angola has ratified, and also draw the attention of the home countries of these migrants to the gravity of the situation.

The Angolan authorities have embarked upon a new fight against clandestine immigration that is becoming more like a migrants ‘manhunt’. In the last ten days, 3,000 people have been rounded up in the streets of Luanda. Non-Angolan Africans are violently arrested in the streets, in their homes and at work and taken to the detention centre in Trinita, 30 km from Luanda. Some are forcibly repatriated. They are kept in cruel, inhumane, humiliating, and degrading conditions. They are crammed into tiny cells and deprived of both water and food. Some pregnant women (two of whom are from Mali and Guinea) had to give birth in these deplorable conditions. Acts of torture and extorsion of money have also been reported.

Immigrants in Angola, especially people from West Africa, have been subject to repeated attacks, stigmatization and violations of their human rights. The arrests may be linked to ethnic and religious discrimination, since the main group targeted is largely composed of Muslims from Guinea, Mauritania, Mali and Senegal. Witnesses reported that mosques were surrounded by the Immigration Services on Friday, 19 December 2014.

Faced with this situation, our organisations would like to remind the States of their responsibility for respecting the principles of equality in dignity and of non-discrimination as enshrined in all human rights’ international instruments. Our organisations hereby recommend:

- to the Angolan authorities:

  • to put an immediate end to the arbitrary arrests and detention practices of the security forces;
  • to immediately close the Trinita detention centre for illegal immigrants where living conditions violate human dignity;
  • Initiate investigations into allegations of serious human rights’ violations and prosecute their alleged perpetrators;
  • to develop an immigration policy that respects the rule or law and international law;
  • to ratify the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;
  • to sign and ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families.

- to the migrants’ African home States:

  • to ensure respect for the fundamental rights of their nationals who emigrated to Angola, and to defend and protect them if their rights are violated;
  • to demand that the Angolan authorities release their nationals from the Trinita centre where they are subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment, and also to condemn all the xenophobic practices and attitudes that stigmatise their nationals.

- to the African Union:

  • to ensure that the AU member states carry out their immigration policies with respect for international human rights’ law.
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