On 13 January, 2022, Gilson da Silva Morreira (also known as Tanaice Neutro), an activist and musician from Angola was arbitrarily arrested and detained in relation to the videos he recorded and posted on social media where he allegedly called the Angolan President a ‘clown’ and said the government authorities were “ignorant”. Tanaice is popularly known for using “Kuduro” a type of Angolan music to express his opinion on social issues such as inequality, corruption, bad governance and poverty.
The arbitrary detention of this activist is in itself a violation of human rights. After his arrest in January 2022, on 12 October the same year, the court sentenced him to a 15 months of a suspended sentence and then ordered for his immediate release due to his ill health, which has not happened to date. It has been 8 months since the judge ordered his immediate release.
We are gravely concerned about Tanaice’s state of health. The denial by government authorities to have him access and receive proper medical care amounts to torture, inhumane and degrading treatment. We are therefore demanding for the immediate and unconditional release of Tanaice Neutro as per the court order and further call on the Angolan authorities to urgently grant him access to adequate medical care.
For years, the Angolan government has increasingly limited the people’s rights to freedom of association, expression and peaceful assembly yet these are provided by their constitution. There is a grave concern on the increase of repressive measures against activists, human rights defenders and all those exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly in that country.
The Angolan authorities must stop criminalizing dissent and should respect the right to these freedoms, allow dissenting voices and work towards building a strong democracy and rule of law.