The detention of the owner of AngolaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s leading independent
newspaper Semanario Angolense, GraÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â§a Campos, has drawn intense criticism, writes
Several civil society organizations have appealed for authorities to
review the decision. t for the conviction of Graca Campos, appealing
authorities to review the decision. On October 3, a Luanda
court found Campos
guilty of slandering former Minister of Justice Paulo Tjipilica, now the
countryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s ombudsman. He was sentenced to eight months in prison and fined the
equivalent of $250 000.
The Syndicate of Angolan Journalist (SJA) said it will assign a
lawyer to follow the case. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe syndicate is studying the situation and will
come up with strong action,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â a statement said.
The judge decided not to allow an appeal against the ruling.
AssociaÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â§ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â£o MÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â£os Livres, a popular human rights NGO that includes lawyers
and media professionals, said it is against the decision that sent Graca Campos
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œfor a single crime: practicing the freedom of pressÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â. The organization has appealed
to the UN Human Rights Council to pressure the Angolan Government to release
Journalists are also individually expressing their opposition to the
conviction of Semanario AngolenseÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s director and owner. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThis is a theatre,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
observed Siona Casimiro, one of the journalists who witnessed the two-day
The reason for the conviction was initially unclear. Contrary to
initial reports, it has now become clear that the basis for the conviction was a
series of articles run in the popular paper a few years ago, which accused the
then minister of making it possible for foreigners to take back buildings they
possessed before the independence of the country, in 1975.