Security forces in Angola have unlawfully killed at least 15 people and carried out other grave abuses against activists and protestors since January 2023, an international rights group says.

New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) says the police and state security services also carried out arbitrary arrests and detained hundreds of people.

Social and political activists, outspoken artists and protesters who organised or participated in peaceful anti-government activities throughout the country were among those targeted by law enforcers, HRW says.


“The Angolan police appear to be targeting those who speak out against government policies,” said HRW’s senior Africa researcher Zenaida Machado.

“Angolan authorities should urgently act to end abusive police policies and practices and ensure that there is justice for victims and their family members.”

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The agency interviewed 32 people by phone between January and June 2023, and they included victims of abuses and their kin, witnesses and security forces in the capital, Luanda, and in Cabinda and Bié.

In a response to the AFP news agency, the governing MPLA refuted HRW’s report saying that investigations were under way.


“However, we find it strange that those calling for the necessary investigations already have conclusions and are passing judgement,” MPLA spokesman Rui Falcao is quoted as saying.