Mr. Rafael Marques, first on the right, was indicted by the Angolan government days after receiving the NED Democracy Award.
Africa Faith & Justice Network (AFJN) unequivocally condemns the charges against Angolan Journalists Rafael Marques de Morais and Mariano Bras Lourenco, strong and courageous advocate of good governance in their home country and an inspiration to the next generation of African leaders.
Mr. Rafael Marques and Mariano Bras Lourenco are accused of “insulting the state for an article about an allegedly unethical real estate deal involving the attorney general,” in Angola, according to a New York Times report published on June 21, 2017. Africa Faith & Justice Network stands in solidarity with the two journalists and calls on Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos to protect the constitutional rights to free speech of Mr. Rafael Marques de Morais, his companion, and every Angolan citizen.
“Angola belongs to all Angolans, not a few privileged government elites. The time to free the political space for democracy to take shape in Angola, and more specifically, to let everyone freely participate in the building of Angola, is long overdue. Unfortunately what is happening to Mr. Rafael Marquez and Mariano Bras Lourenco is an intimidation strategy used by many of Africa’s tyrants to keep power to themselves and their acolytes, which creates the best conditions for them to, among other things, loot public funds, arrest, and kill without being held accountable. There is no other time to resist but now. Mr. Rafael Marquez and Mariano Bras Lourenco have dedicated their lives to fighting for human rights because they know that the cost of silence is far higher than that of speaking up and resisting,” said AFJN Policy Analyst, Jacques Bahati.
AFJN staff, along with some members of the U.S. Congress and others, were in attendance at the National Endowment for Democracy’s (NED) annual Democracy Award presentation at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, at which Mr. Rafael Marques and four other brave anti-corruption fighters and advocates from Afghanistan, Guatemala, Malaysia, and Ukraine were honored. Click here to read about Mr. Rafael Marques’ recent honors by NED in Washington, DC.
This post was updated on June 23, 2017