ANN Staff Writer – 14/01/2015
Earlier this week, the Angolan ambassador to France, Miguel da Costa, offered a message of condolence to the French Foreign Affairs Ministry, in which he described the recent terror attack against a satirical publication, "a monstrous, indescribable and totally unacceptable act".
The Angolan ambassador also participated in a mass demonstration and march designed to show solidarity in repudiating the attacks and the assault on free speech. The Paris march, which featured several heads of states and governments around the world, was estimated to involve more than 2 million people.
While the Angolan ambassador participated in the show of solidarity, the Angolan president did not, sending his local emissary instead.
The irony of the participation of the Angolan government in a show of solidarity with demonstrators showing their committment to free speech was not lost on international human rights observers. The Angolan government itself has engaged in a brutal crackdown on journalists, protesters and political opponents in recent months. Many of the Angolan government's most vocal critics and journalists have faced arrest, beatings and even murder at the hands of the police and state security forces.
Just a week ago the hand-picked MPLA government of Cunene Province placed a banning order on journalist Paulo Kuza of independent radio network Radio Despertar for airing broadcasts the government felt to be critical of the government.