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Asking After Prisoners’ Screams Lands Angolan Journalist in Jail

Categories: Sub-Saharan Africa, Angola, Digital Activism, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Media & Journalism

A journalist passes by a police station in a town of the outskirts of Luanda, the capital of Angola, and hears prisoners screaming. He enters the police station to ask what is happening. He is arrested on accusations of slander and defamation.

Chilúvia [1]

Photo of Chilúvia shared by @ProfNgolaKiluan on Twitter.

That is what happened to Queirós Anastácio Chilúvia, deputy editor of the private station Radio Despertar, at Cacuaco's National Command Post last Sunday, February 2, 2014, according to anti-corruption watchdog Maka Angola [2] and Alexandre Neto, chairman of the Angolan chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA [3]). The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported [4]:

“To arrest a journalist for asking police for their side of the story is absurd,” said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Sue Valentine. “Queirós Anastácio Chilúvia is no risk to society. Authorities should release him immediately.”

According to Neto “the maximum period that police may detain someone without bringing evidence is eight days”. Radio France Internationale reported [5] that Chilúvia is going to be judged on Friday, February 7.

Meanwhile, a few Twitter users are pressuring for his release. A user who goes by the handle Professor N'gola Kiluange called for international solidarity: