An Angolan court has convicted and sentenced 24 people for clashing with the police during an anti-government rally on September 3 in the capital Luanda. The police court found on Monday that the men had deliberately caused violence and disturbed public order and sentenced them to jail terms ranging from 45 days to three months each.
Two other protesters, a 60-year-old woman and a young man who reportedly fell very ill after being arrested, were set free, apparently for humanitarian reasons.
During the trial, which lasted five days, the judge refused a request from the attorneys of the protestors to present what they said was clear evidences that the violence on September 3 had been deliberately caused by police to justify heavier intervention by the government’s special forces.
Minister of the Interior and chief of the country’s inteligence services, Sebastião Martins, said on Monday that images recorded of protests which purportedly showed deliberate police instigation had been manipulated.