Radio Morena, a private station in Benguela, and government actions against its director, José Manuel Alberto, and its reporters in 1999 [AGO35931.E]

Several sources report that Radio Morena Comercial is a privately-run station in the southern city of Benguela (AFP 24 Jan. 1999; AI Nov. 1999; ODR Nov. 1999). The Swiss Office fédéral des réfugiés (ODR) adds that even though the radio station is private, it is financed by the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), Angola's ruling party (ibid.). Radio Morena Comercial began operations just prior to the 1992 elections in Angola (ibid.).

On 11 January 1999, José Manuel Alberto and José Cabral Sande, described variously as journalists/directors/administrators, of Radio Morena Comercial were arrested and detained after the station rebroadcast an interview with a UNITA official that had been aired on Portuguese television (CPJ 1999, 2000; RSF 2000, 2000; Open Society Institute n.d.). Reporters sans frontières adds that they were accused by the authorities of "'betrayal of state sovereignty and the prestige of the Angolan armed forces'" (2000). They were released a day after their arrest because of insufficient proof (AFP 24 Jan. 1999; AI Nov. 1999; CPJ 1999, 2000) and their case was returned to police for further investigation (AI Nov. 1999). The authorities eventually withdrew the case after receiving assurances from Radio Morena Comercial that it would no longer report on military matters (ibid.). José Cabral Sande was again arrested on 25 January 1999 and detained for broadcasting reports on UNITA (MISA 30 Apr. 1999; IPI 2000). A judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence against Cabral Sande and he was ordered released after being detained for 48 hours (ibid.).

No additional information on government actions against journalists of Radio Morena Comercial in 1999 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 (AI). November 1999. Angola: Freedom of Expression Under Threat. [Accessed 18 Dec. 2000]

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). 2000. Attacks on the Press 1999. [Accessed 23 Oct. 2000]

International Press Institute (IPI). 2000. 1999 World Press Freedom Review. [Accessed 8 Jan. 2001]

Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) [Johannesburg]. 30 April 1999. "Angola; Fax for Press Freedom." (Africa News/NEXIS)

Office fédéral des réfugiés (ODR), Switzerland. November 1999. "Feuille d'information: Angola." [Accessed 3 Jan. 2001]

The Open Society Institute. n.d. "Fact Sheet: Crimes Against Media." [Accessed 18 Dec. 2000]

Reporters sans frontières (RSF). 2000. 2000 Annual Report Africa: Angola. [Accessed 23 Oct. 2000]

Additional Sources Consulted

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1999. 2000

IRB Databases

Internet sites including:

Amnesty International

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

Daily Mail & Guardian [Johannesburg]. Search Engine.

Freedom House

Human Rights Watch

UK Immigration and Natitonality Directorate

United Nations

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