Angola: UNITA request for protest vote against attack on journalist’s wife rejected

The Angolan parliament has voted on Thursday against the change in the agenda requested by the parliamentary group of UNITA, the largest Angolan opposition party, which wanted to present a protest vote against the aggressions against the wife of a journalist. 

At issue are the acts of aggression against Ludmila Pinto, wife of activist and Angolan journalist Cláudio Emanuel Pinto, of Rádio Despertar, linked to the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).

The request presented at the plenary session of the national parliament was rejected with 112 votes against from the parliamentary benches of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), 83 votes in favour from UNITA and two abstentions from the Social Renewal Party (PRS) and the Humanist Party.

The UNITA parliamentary group stresses in the document that Ludmila Pinto is the victim of persecution and three physical assaults, namely attacks, by unidentified individuals, with sharp objects, the last of which occurred on Monday, “in broad daylight, on the public highway, in the space of two months.

“In the face of these heinous facts we want to know who is interested in the climate of terror and fear in Angola? Who is interested in intimidating and conditioning the family of a journalist and the profession? Why do the relevant state bodies not act, why does the SIC [Criminal Investigation Service], the PGR [Attorney General’s Office] and the state information services not act?

In the document, UNITA’s parliamentary group demanded “from the president of the country, the parliament and the judiciary, an attitude of loyalty to citizens in line with the defence of the interests of people, families and companies, and above all the defence of life and the safeguarding of fundamental human rights”.

“The parliamentary protest vote is timely, urgent and necessary, as it constitutes a clear and unequivocal message to society that the state is united in the defence of social peace and that parliament, as the representative body of all Angolans, which expresses the sovereign will of the people and exercises the legislative power of the state is in solidarity with the efforts of the executive to bring about democracy and justice, with the general feeling in society that justice and social peace cannot be achieved by resorting to gratuitous violence or the subversion of democracy and the rule of law”, stated the UNITA parliamentary group.

According to the parliamentary group of Angola’s second largest political party, parliament must “condemn all criminal acts that aim to provoke a state of terror in the public in general and in people or individuals for unconfessed purposes, under any circumstances, regardless of considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be evoked”.