Journalist threatened with eviction

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New York, June 16, 2000 — Journalist Isidoro Natalício was ordered to vacate his home by state authorities because he filed reports for the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Ecclesia and the Portuguese News Agency LUSA, according to CPJ’s sources in Angola’s Kwanza Norte province. Natalício is the Ndalatando correspondent for the state-owned daily, Jornal de Angola, in Kwanza Norte.

An eviction notice served by the state-operated Housing Department which owns Natalício’s home, claims that the journalist fraudulently converted his subsidized apartment into a bureau for VOA, LUSA and Radio Ecclesia in Ndalatando. Natalício was given five days to move or face legal action.

The eviction suit brought against Natalício by the office of the Attorney General in Kwanza-Norte charges that the journalist violated his lease by engaging in for-profit activities while residing in state-owned housing. The Government of Angola has been the largest real estate owner in the war-plagued country since independence in 1975, when all land was nationalized by the ruling party. Despite a liberalization of the real estate market introduced in the early 1990s around the capital of Luanda, the state — through the Housing Department — remains the most important land owner throughout the rest of the country.

Natalício has also faced other forms of harassment in recent months, according to the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA). He has been banned from covering official functions in the province and has been forbidden from entering any property belonging to Kwanza Norte Governor Manuel Pedro Cacadira, including a pension (hotel) compound that also houses a popular night club, MISA reported.