A newspaper called Agora and Radio Ecclesia and Catholic Transmission, a radio station; whether employees of those two media, including their family members, are targeted by the Angolan authorities (1999-November 2000) [AGO35861.E]

Radio Ecclesia is an Angolan Catholic Church radio station (RTP Internacional TV 17 July 2000; Country Reports 1999 2000, Sect. 2; ODR Nov. 1999; Radio Nacional de Angola 30 June 2000). Described as "one the few sources of independents news" (Country Reports 1999 2000, Sect. 2), Radio Ecclesia, the first radio station which is not "state-controlled" has "covered the entire national territory since Angola's independence in 1995" (RTP Internacional TV 17 July 2000) and, "has consistently aired alternative and often dissenting views in Angola" (MISA 7 July 2000).

On 24 June 2000, Jose Paulo, the chief-editor of Radio Ecclesia was kidnapped in his car by armed men in the Angolan capital, Luanda (MISA 7 July 2000; Radio Nacional de Angola 27 June 2000; Radio Ecclesia 25 June 2000). According to MISA, the incident happened after Radio Ecclessia has, the same day, aired a "live debate on the role of oil and diamonds in fuelling the conflict in Angola" and after having extensively reported a 21 June 2000 attack on the Luanda office of the Voice of America (7 July 2000). Jose Paulo escaped (ibid.), or was released by his captors (Radio Ecclesia 25 June 2000). In May 2000, Christovao Lwemba, a Radio Ecclesia correspondent in Cabinda, was beaten up by two police officers (ibid.).

Various sources also refer to a 9 August 1999 detention of journalists, including Radio Ecclesia's staff after the station rebroadcast a BBC interview with the UNITA chief Jonas Savimbi (Country Reports 1999, 2000 Sect. 1; IFEX 13 Jan. 2000; AP 11 Aug. 2000). According to IFEX, Radio Ecclesia was accused of having violated "'the internal and external security of the state' under Angola's notorious Law 7/78, also known as the Law on Crimes against States Security. This law clearly violates Article 35 of the 1992 Angola Constitution, which guarantees the rights to freedom of expression" (ibid.). Angolan authorities forced Radio Ecclesia to sign a coercive agreement ordering that in the future, any rebroadcasting of Jonas Savimbi's statement would require the approval of authorities (IFEX 13 Jan. 2000; AP 11 Aug. 2000). The government authorities also ordered to suspend any broadcast of programmes from Radio Renescença, a Portuguese private Catholic station (OFR Nov. 2000). According to Country Reports 1999, "Radio Ecclesia began practising self-censorship in August [1999] after the government harassed it for rebroadcasting a Jonas Savimbi interview with the BBC" (2000, Sect. 2).

Described as independent (AI 2000) and private (Country Reports 1999 2000, Sect. 2), Agora is a weekly newspaper published in Luanda (AP 27 Oct. 2000; ibid. 31 Mar. 2000; IRIN 5 June 2000).

According to Country Reports 1999, "the editor of Agora received [in 1999], a suspended sentence and was fined approximately $5 (30 Kwanza) for 90 days for slandering two Ministers" (2000, Sect 2). Rafael Marque, a freelance journalist was also arrested in October 1999, after his critical article was published in the Agora (AI 2000). Citing Radio Ecclesia, a 5 June IRIN Report stated that Aguilar dos Santos, a journalist with Agora "has been prevented from leaving the country to attend a journalist conference in Brazil (5 June 2000).

No information on family members of employees of both Agora newspaper and Radio Ecclesia could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Amnesty International. Annual Report 2000. http://www.web.amnesty.org/web/ar2000web.nsf/africa/ [Accessed 4 Dec. 2000].

Associated Press (AP). Casimiro Siona. 27 October 2000. "Angola Supreme Court Reduce Journalists' Sentences on Appeal." (NEXIS)

_____. Casimiro Siona. 31 March 2000. "Angolan Journalist Convicted of Defaming President." (NEXIS)

_____. 11 August 1999. Casimiro Siona. "Angola Police Investigates Journalists for 'Crimes Against State.'" (NEXIS)

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1999. 2000. US Department of State. Washington, D.C. http://www.state.gov/www/global/human_rights/1999_hrp_report/angola [Accessed 4 Dec. 2000]

The International Freedom of Expression (IFEX) [Toronto]. 13 January 2000. "Angola; CPJ Expresses Deep Concern Over Deteriorating Press Freedom." (Africa News/NEXIS)

Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) [Johannesburg]. 7 July 2000. "Angola; Journalist Jose Paulo Kidnapped." (Africa News/NEXIS)

Office fédéral des réfugiés (ODR), Switzerland. November 1999. Feuille d'information : Angola. http://www.asyl.admin.ch/franz/publ3f.htm [Accessed 9 Nov. 2000]

Radio Ecclesia Audio Web Site [Luanda, in Portuguese]. 25 June 2000. "Angola: Radio Journalist Threatened at Gunpoint." (BBC Summary 26 June 2000/NEXIS)

Radio Naticional de Angola [Luanda, in Portuguese]. 27 June 2000. "Government Condemns Actions Against VOA Bureau, Radio Ecclessia." (BBC Summary 30 June 2000/NEXIS).

RTP Internacional TV [Lisbon, in Portuguese]. 17 July 2000. "Churches Convene Peace Congress to Discuss Alternative to War." (BBC Summary 20 July 2000/NEXIS)

UN Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN). 5 June 2000. "Southern Africa; IRIN Update for Southern Africa." (Africa News/NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential 1999-2000.

IRB Databases.

Keesing's Record of World Events 1999-2000.

Le nouvel Afrique-Asie 1999-2000.


West Africa 1999-2000.

World News Connection (WNC).

Internet Sites including:

Angola Peace Monitor.

Amnesty International Online.

Globe and Guardian.

Human Rights Watch Online.


Index on Censorship.

International Crisis Group (ICG).

Missionary Service News Agency (MISNA).


Reporters sans frontières (RSF).

Internet Engines including: