Names of journalists working at the state-run Angola Press Agency (ANGOP); the treatment of ANGOP journalists by the authorities; whether journalists working for ANGOP are less at risk than those working for the independent media (1997 to 2000) [AGO35964.E]

In its 1998 annual report, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported that state-run media, such as the Angola Press Agency (ANGOP), Radio Nacional, Televisao Publica de Angola and Jornal de Angola, all practise "self-censorship" and that journalists who work for these media outlets could face "certain detention on criminal libel charges" if they were to publish or broadcast any news considered "critical of the state" (1999).

Some sources report incidents involving ANGOP journalists.

For example, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports that Joao Borges, ANGOP correspondent in the province of Bie, was fired from the news agency after the province's governor, Paulino dos Santos, accused him of writing an anonymous letter to a newsletter denouncing the governor's "abuse of power" (Sept. 1999). Borges was also accused of collaborating with the Portuguese news agency LUSA (MISA 8 Oct. 1999).

In addition to Borges, three other ANGOP journalists were "suspended indefinitely" on 29 September 1999 for alleged ties to independent newspapers (ibid). ANGOP's editor Antonio Picarra, sports editor Silva Candembo and journalist Antonio Campos were removed from their posts for working with Agora, Angolense and Folha 8 respectively (ibid.). According to ANGOP's Director General, Miguel de Carvalho, the journalists acted without authority and were asked to "clarify their positions," which meant that they would either have to rupture their ties with the independent media or "face stiff disciplinary action" (ibid.).

The Panafrican News Agency (PANA) reported in September 2000 that ANGOP journalist Joao Pitra had suffered injuries when persons marginalized by society (les marginaux) invaded his home in Luanda (4 Sept. 2000). Most of his electric household appliances were destroyed when the assailants invaded the house and used incendiary bullets to destroy the journalist's property (ibid.). Pitra, who reported the incident to local police, stated that the assault was aimed to kill him (ibid.). No additional information on Pitra's case could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

In a 11 January 2001 telephone interview, the Africa Program Coordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York stated that generally speaking, journalists working for state-run media, such as ANGOP, enjoy more security than those who report for independent radio stations or newspapers because of the greater government control that is exercised on them by the authorities.

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.


Human Rights Watch (HRW). September 1999. Angola Unravels: The Rise and Fall of the Lusaka Peace Process. [Accessed 11 Jan. 2001]

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), New York. 11 January 2001. Telephone interview with the Africa Program Coordinator.

_____. 1999. Attacks on the Press 1998. [Accessed 10 Jan. 2001]

Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA). 8 October 1999. "Editor Released, Furter Information on Harassment of Independent Journalists." [Accessed 11 Jan. 2001]

Panafrican News Agency (PANA). 4 September 2000. "Un journaliste de l'ANGOP blessé par des marginaux." [Accessed 11 Jan. 2001]

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB Databases.


World News Connection (WNC)

Two oral sources contacted.

Internet Sites, including:

Amnesty International

Angola Peace Monitor [London]. January 2000-December 2000

Angola Press Agency (ANGOP)

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

Daily Mail & Guardian [Johannesburg]. Search Engine.

Digital Freedom Network

Human Rights Watch

International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX)
Post Express [Lagos]. Search Engine

Reporters sans frontières (RSF)

Search Engines:


Fast Search