News and Views

Angolan journolist wins top award for anti-corruption fight

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There's good and bad news out of Angola: Mail & Guardian reports that an Angolan journalist has won a top award recognising his fight against graft and human rights abuses, and speaking of the latter… a 17-year-old has been imprisoned for allegedly insulting the country's president.

Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos shares a joke with one of his critics. Not. (Image: Agência Brasil, via Wikimedia Commons)

For more: Mail & Guardian: Angolan journo recognised for anti-corruption fight… This is the good news… Rafael Marques de Morais, Angolan journalist and anti-corruption campaigner, has won a prestigious Transparency International award in recognition of his efforts to fight graft and expose human rights abuse.

  • According to the Mail & Guardian report, Marques (42) is a leading critic of President José Eduardo dos Santos, who has been in power for 34 years and has written a great deal about corruption and human rights abuses in his country.

    And now for the bad news… An Angolan teenager, Nito Alves (17), who was arrested on 12 September for insulting Dos Santos by printing slogans (one of which described Dos Santos as a "disgusting dictator") on T-shirts and then imprisoned, has begun a hunger strike.

    In any democracy worthy of the name, such slogans would not attract the attention of the authorities, who surely have more important things to do. But not in Angola… Oh no… There, even if you are 17, you get arrested and then locked up.

    It's pathetic – as is a similar storm in a t-shirt…sorry… teacup in South Africa.

    Politics is a tough game; either develop a thick skin so that you can handle the insults and criticism – or get out of it and take up something safer.

    And stop taking yourselves so seriously.

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