Nuno Dala is a university professor who's been on hunger strike for 22 days. Dala, imprisoned since June 2015, is one of 17 activists th Angolan authorities accuse of plotting a rebellion against President José Eduardo dos Santos, who has been in power for more than 36 years. Dala and his alleged co-conspirators participated in a study group focused on the book “From Dictatorship to Democracy” by retired political science professor Gene Sharp.
Of the 17 defendants, 15 were arrested for more than 90 days without any charges. A court also barred the remaining two suspects—both women—from leaving the country. In December, after the group's trial began on November 15, 2015, a court placed the 15 suspects under house arrest. All defendants were sentenced to prison by the court.
In a recent interview with Deutsche Welle Radio—Africa (DW), Nuno Dala's sister says her diabetic brother's health “is in grave [condition].” Dala spent a little more than three months under house arrest before a court ordered him back to jail earlier this month. Back behind bars, Dala launched a hunger strike, demanding access to his personal belongings and diabetes medication. Dala's sister says she regrets that society is “ignoring his health” DW reports:
Nas redes sociais, multiplicam-se as críticas em relação à forma como a sociedade e os meios de comunicação social têm tratado o caso da greve de fome de Nuno Dala. Muitos fazem a comparação com o caso de Luaty Beirão, que originou protestos, petições e abaixo-assinados dentro e fora de Angola.
Criticism is rising on social networks because of the way society and the media have treated the case of Nuno Dala's hunger strike. Many make the comparison with the case of Luaty Beirão, which led to protests, petitions in and out of Angola, and mass media coverage.
Not everyone is ignoring the story, however. The online portal CentralAngola 7311 has been following Dala's hunger strike closely:
Angola: Ativista Nuno Álvaro Dala há sete dias em greve de fome https://t.co/tnjDUuqVJT pic.twitter.com/AntrZw3CGC
— Esquerda.Net (@EsquerdaNet) March 17, 2016
Angola: Activist Nuno Alvaro Dala on hunger strike for seven days
The website has also promoted appeals on Facebook, trying to mobilize public outrage:
Hoje entra no 14º à base de água, soro oral, chá e sumo, sem ingestão de qualquer alimento sólido. Quando começaremos as petições, os abaixo-assinados, as vigílias? Quando é que o desespero se instala?
#HUNGERSTRIKE #NunoDala #Day14 Today Dala enters day 14 only with the water-based oral serum, tea, and juice without any intake of solid food. When do we see the petitions? The vigils? [Only] when despair settles in?
Appeals like this one seem to have been effective. The same day as CentralAngola 7311's social media outreach, activists planned vigils on March 25, 26 and 27 in Angola's capital, Luanda—mirroring the demonstrations prompted by Luaty Beirão.
Aí está a iniciativa cidadã. Para todos aqueles que estiveram a vomitar insultos à dormência da sociedade civil será bom que compareçam.
Dias 25, 26 e 27 de Março, na Igreja Sagrada Família, às 17h30.
Não vale a pena ficar à espera do último dos dias para ver se nos primeiros não sai porrada e jatos de água da polícia.
#VIGIL #NUNODALA There it is: the citizen initiative. For all of those who were hurling insults at civil society for being too lazy. March 25, 26, and 27, at the Sagrada Familia Church at 5:30 p.m. Don't wait for the last day to see if the police come with their water jets and violence, though. #SolidaritybehondFacebook