Prolonged detention of activist draws anger in Angola

The Angolan activist Gilson da Silva Moreira has been detained since 2021. Screenshot from YouTube video ‘Ativista Tanaice Neutro condenado a pena suspensa de um ano e três meses’ made by the author.

In February 2021, a young activist named Gilson da Silva Moreira, better known as Tanaice Neutro, was arrested for allegedly insulting the president of Angola, João Lourenço, on social media. Such insults included using words like “thug” and “clown” to refer to Lourenço.

According to local sources, Neutro was sentenced to a suspended sentence of one year and three months in a verdict that became public in October 2022. However, anyone convicted of outrage against the state, its symbols, and its sectors — among the charges against Neutro — is usually required to serve their sentence in prison.

When the verdict was published, therefore, the Ministry of Justice appealed the sentence. The activist's defense lawyer said he was satisfied with the suspended sentence, although he regretted the time Neutro had already spent in prison — 15 months.

One of the justifications advocated for Neutro to stay out of prison was his weakened state of health, as he was ill before he went to prison, and for being a first-time offender — but this court ruling was never enforced. Because of this, the activist has remained in jail since his arrest in 2021, and his health continues to deteriorate.

This is why the Network of Human Rights Defenders of Southern Africa, through its president, Adriano Nuvunga, repudiated the illegal detention of the Angolan activist. In the video below, posted on June 5 this year, a cry for help was issued for the release of Tanaice Neutro:

There are also several complaints online against the detention of the Angolan activist:

The persecution of activists and demonstrators is a reality in Angola that must end! Activist Tanaice Neutro has already served a 15-month suspended sentence, but is he still in jail today? Why? It is not known!
Don't be silent @antoniocostapm @amnistiapt

— Cídia Chissungo (@Cidiachissungo) June 5, 2023

Angolan authorities must end police violence against peaceful demonstrators now! Activist Tanaice Neutro completes 507 days in prison today for protesting. #Freetanaice
Don't be silent @antoniocostapm. @amnistiapt

— Cídia Chissungo (@Cidiachissungo) June 5, 2023

Amnesty International of Portugal took advantage of the visit to Angola of the prime minister of Portugal, António Costa, which took place between June 5 to 7, to raise awareness of the case:

Join us and tell @antoniocostapm that Human Rights must be part of the official agenda of your visit to Angola!

See how to do it in the comments/replies to this tweet.

— Amnesty Portugal (@amnistiapt) June 5, 2023

Reports from human rights organizations indicate that Tenaice Neutro's health has deteriorated, which is why calls are growing for him to be released, in order to obtain the necessary care outside prison.

Start the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.