Law no. 22/91 of 15 June, the Press Law, regulates the form of exercise of press freedom and the adequate measures aimed at preventing and repressing its abuses.
In the course of its validity, this law, as the guarantor of the full exercise of the pluralism of ideas and the manifestation of thought through the press, proved to be, on account of the alteration of the circumstances existing as of the date of its adoption, insufficient to cover new situations which emerged as a result of the greater democratic openness.
The State, aware of this new reality and always having as its primary concern, the need to guarantee the respect for the fundamental rights, liberties and guarantees of the citizen, enshrined in the Constitutional Law, saw it fit to proceed to the alteration of Law no. 22/91 of 15 June so that, maintaining the essence of this law, through a new law, press freedom would receive a more comprehensive treatment, conferring on it greater clarification and setting down the type undesirable conduct that should be adapted to the current conditions.
This being the case, the present law regulates the forms of exercise of press freedom, establishes the mechanisms for the organization of press houses, accountability and mechanisms for the imposition of sanctions on the professional men of information and the respective houses, in case of the abuse of press freedom, points out the various forms of accountability existent, the initiation of proceedings and the exercise of penal action in the criminal breaches committed through the press, the competence of the judiciary and the applicable proceedings, imposes on the State the duty to protect and promote the press, through incentives to be granted to press houses and the duty of the press houses to disseminate the judicial decisions pronounced in proceedings emerging from the abuse of the press law.
In these terms, under the combined provisions of paragraph b) of Article 88 and paragraph b) of Article 89, both of the Constitutional Law, the National Assembly hereby approves as follows:
The present law regulates the forms of exercise of press freedom and the appropriate measures to prevent and curb its abuses.
1. For the purposes of the present law press freedom is understood to signify the manifestation of the freedom of expression of thought and of information through the written press, radio broadcasts, television and other appropriate means, destined to reception by the public.
2. Press is understood in its restricted sense:
1. printed reproductions meant for dissemination, and which, for the purposes of the present law, will be designated as publications, with the exception of official printed matter or those utilized in social relations;
1. news agencies.
3. Radio broadcast is considered to be the unilateral transmission of sound communications, through radio-electrical waves or by any other appropriate means, destined to reception by the public in general.
4. Television is the transmission or retransmission of non-permanent images and sounds, through electro-magnetic waves or by any other appropriate vehicle, which is propagated in space or by cable, destined to reception by the public.
(General objectives of press houses)
The press houses have the following general objectives:
1. to contribute towards the consolidation of the Angolan nation and the reinforcement of national unity;
2. To exercise in full liberty the right to inform, without limitations, except as the law may prescribe;
3. to inform the public in truth, independence and transparency, about national and international events, guaranteeing the right of the citizens to correct and impartial information;
4. to ensure the free expression of public opinion and that of civil society;
6. to direct its action preferably towards educational, artistic, cultural and informative activities, guaranteeing the freedom of expression of the various currents of opinion and of the values which express national identity;
7. to contribute towards the promotion of national and regional culture, and the defense and dissemination of the national and Portuguese languages;
8. to promote the respect for the ethical and social values of the individual and of the family, which are the mark of a democratic State under the rule of law;
9. to contribute towards the raising of the socio-economic standards of the population;
10. to contribute towards the formation of the legal conscience of the citizens.
(Ban on monopoly)
5. The concentration of press houses around a single individual person or group of persons or social, economic or political groups is forbidden.
6. Special legislation will prevent the press from becoming directly or indirectly, the object of monopoly or oligopoly, without prejudice to the provisions of the present law.
(Advertisement and Patronage)
7. Advertisement in the press will be regulated by specific law.
8. Radio broadcasts and television programs which may benefit from any funding through the patronage of advertising, should contain an express reference to this fact, at the start and at the end, and this could be limited to the insertion of either the name or identification symbol of the patronizing agency.
9. The patronage of programs like news bulletins, television news casts and political information programs is forbidden.
Press freedom, content, guarantees and limitations
The press is not subject to any form of authorization or censure.
(Content of press freedom)
10. Press freedom implies:
11. The recognition of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the journalists, namely those referred to in the respective statute;
12. The right to found papers and any other publications, independently of prior administrative authorization, bond or qualification;
14. The right to the free printing and circulation of publications, without anyone opposing this by any means whatsoever which may not be envisaged under the law.
11. The right of the citizens to be informed is guaranteed, namely, through:
15. Measures which prevent levels of concentration that may jeopardize the pluralism of information;
16. The publication of editorial statute of the press houses;
17. The recognition of the right to response and to rectification;
18. The identification and the veracity of the advertisement;
19. The access to the National Social Communication Council, to safeguard transparency and the precision of the information;
20. The respect for the ethical norms of the exercise of journalistic activity.
12. Press freedom is guaranteed under the Constitutional Law and the present law.
13. Press freedom includes the right to inform, to inform oneself and to be informed, without hindrance nor discrimination.
14. In the exercise of their functions, the professionals of the press houses are guaranteed access to the sources of information necessary for the exercise of the right of the citizen to information.
15. Journalists are not obliged to reveal the sources of information, and their silence may not be subject to any direct or indirect sanction. The directors of press houses, when they know such sources of information, may refrain from revealing them.
16. The State and the entities of public interest should organize services destined to provide news and the clarifications necessary for veracious information.
17. No citizen may be made to suffer loss or injury in his private, social or working life, by virtue of the legal and legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of expression of thought through the press.
18. The limits to press freedom are those which derive solely from the precepts of the present law and of the general and military law, with a view to safeguarding the defense of national sovereignty and independence, of the territorial integrity of the nation, of national unity, of the objectivity and veracity of information, of the defense of the public interest and morality, of the good name and intimacy of private life and of democratic order.
19. The publication or reproduction of news or facts from the national or foreign press, which may jeopardize the national unity, sovereignty and integrity, or which may constitute an attack against the honor and reputation of the incumbents of the organs of State sovereignty is forbidden.
20. Likewise, the publication or reproduction of news or facts from the national or foreign press, which, by their very nature, constitute war propaganda, processes of subversion of the political and social order and racial or class prejudice, is forbidden.
22. The revelation of facts and documents referring to proceedings in camera, as well as facts considered by the competent entities as State or military secret, and as secret by legal ruling, shall not be permitted.
Journalistic and editorial houses
(Constitution of the houses)
23. The constitution of journalistic and editorial houses, with a view to the elaboration, edition and dissemination of any publications, without subordination to prior authorization, bond, qualification or other conditions which may not be envisaged in the present law and the remaining applicable legislation, namely commercial legislation, is free.
24. Journalistic houses are all those houses which edit periodic publications.
25. Editorial houses are those which have as their principal object the editing of unitary publications and their direct distribution or through the intermediary of booksellers or dealers in various types of publications.
26. Houses with characteristics of news agencies, whose principal object is the collection and dissemination of news or commentaries for publication in the periodic press, are exclusive to the State.
27. Only national citizens and foreigners who reside in the country and are in the full enjoyment of their civic and political rights, may be owners of periodic publications, with the exception of publications of foreign diplomatic, commercial and cultural representations.
28. The journalistic, editorial and news houses may only have as their object, in addition to their principal object, the exercise of inherent or complementary activities.
29. The ownership of periodic publications may belong to any non profit making corporate body, individual or journalistic enterprises, in a commercial form. The editing of unitary publications may be freely promoted by any individual or corporate body.
30. The journalistic houses which may assume the form of commercial enterprises are subject to the Law of Economic Activity and to commercial legislation.
31. The direct or indirect participation of foreign capital may not exceed 20%, without the right to vote or 30%, when the partners are resident foreigners.
(Transparency of ownership)
32. In the press houses which produce periodic publications and are constituted as a joint stock company, all the shares must be nominative.
34. The list of share holders of journalistic houses, the description of the shares, as well as the indication of the publications which they own, or those of other entities with which they maintain a group relationship, should be disseminated, during the first semester of each year, in all the periodic publications which the house owns, and the lists sent to the Ministry of Social Communication and to the National Social Communication Council.
(Press house with public capital)
When the State or any other corporate entity of public law is the owner of any periodic publication, the statute of the latter should safeguard its autonomy and editorial independence.
(Freedom of competition)
Prices of sale to the public, the rates of advertisement and the margins of commercialization of the periodic publications, shall be defined by the administrations of the journalistic houses, safeguarding the interests of the consumers and the price regime in force.
(Dissemination of the means of funding)
The press houses are under obligation to publish, in a periodical of national circulation, by the end of the first semester of each year, the activity report and balance sheet of the net results, showing the source of the financial movements derived from its own or third party capital.
Organization of the houses
(Management of press houses)
35. Every press house should, before initiating its activity, appoint a director, who must be of Angolan nationality, in the full enjoyment of his civic and political rights, as well as publish the respective editorial statute.
36. The director shall be assisted by deputy directors or sub-directors.
37. In case of impediment or disability, the director shall be replaced by the deputy director, sub-director or chief editor.
(Competence of the director)
It is generically incumbent upon the director to provide:
21. the orientation, supervision and determination of the content of the periodical;
22. the presidency of the editorial council;
23. the designation of the chief editor, on the advice of the editorial council;
25. the representation of the periodical before any authorities, in every matter connected with his area of competence and the functions inherent in his post.
In the periodic publications with more than five professional journalists, editorial councils shall be created, comprising professional journalists, elected by all the professional journalists working in the periodical, in accordance with the regulations established by themselves.
(Competence of the Editorial Council)
It is incumbent upon the Editorial Council:
26. to cooperate with the management of the press house, in the definition of the lines of orientation to be followed by the periodical;
27. to provide advice on all sectors of the life and organization of the paper, which concern or are in any form related to the exercise of journalistic activity;
28. to give advise about the appointment of the chief editor;
29. to give advice about the admission, disciplinary sanctions and dismissal of professional journalists;
30. issue an opinion about the drawing up and alterations to the editorial statute.
Press in the restricted sense, radio and television
Press in the restricted sense
(Periodic and Unitary Publications)
38. Publications may be periodical or unitary.
39. Periodic publications are papers, magazines and literary works of any nature which take place in a continual series, without a defined limit of duration, under the same title, over fixed periods of time.
40. Unitary publications are those which have a normally homogeneous content and are edited in totality on one occasion, or in volumes or installments.
41. Periodic publications may be national or local in scope, depending on whether they are put on sale throughout the national territory or solely in a determined zone or region of the country.
42. Publications considered as foreign are those belonging to non national entities.
44. Foreign publications disseminated in the Republic of Angola are subject to the precepts of the present law, except those to which, by their nature, the precepts of the present law may not be applicable.
45. The distribution and sale of foreign publications is subject to authorization by the Ministry of Social Communication, except with regard to publications of specialized information.
(Requirements of publications)
46. Periodic publications should always contain on the first page the title of the publication, date, frequency and price.
47. The publications should also contain a mention of the names of the director and owner, location of the headquarters of the establishment and of the workshop in which they are printed, as well as the number of copies of the edition.
48. Unitary publications should always make mention of the author, editor, establishment in which they were printed, the number of copies per edition and date of printing.
49. Press houses should, before initiating their activity, adopt an editorial statue which clearly defines its orientation and objectives, and includes the commitment to guarantee the respect for the ethical principles and the professional ethics of journalists, as well as the good faith of the reading public.
50. The editorial statute is drawn up by the director and, after the advice of the editorial council, submitted to ratification by the owners, and then inserted into the first page of the first number of the publication and forwarded, within the 10 subsequent days, to the National Social Communication Council.
51. Without prejudice to the provision of the previous number, the editorial statute is published in each civil year, together with the activity report and balance sheet by the owners.
52. Alterations introduced into the editorial statute are subject to a prior opinion by the editorial council, and must be reproduced in the first number subsequent to its ratification by the owners and forwarded, within 10 days, to the National Social Communication Council.
53. Directors of periodic publications and directors of the unitary publications should proceed to make a legal deposit, within 5 days immediately following each publication, of three copies of the respective publications, in the following entities:
31. National library;
32. Library of the Ministry of Social Communication;
33. Library of the province in which the publication is edited;
34. Prosecutor General of the Republic;
35. Other entities, each time the legal duty to comply exists.
54. The provision of the prior number is extensive to foreign publications, whether for sale or for free distribution.
55. The copies sent to the entities mentioned in paragraphs a) and c) of no. 1 should be placed at the disposal of the public within the maximum deadline of 15 days, from reception.
(Seizure of publication)
56. The seizure of publications is only permitted by an act authorized by a competent magistrate of the Public Prosecution Service or a judicial magistrate, in the case of offenses expressly envisaged under the present law.
57. Whenever there is absolute urgency and it is not possible for the competent magistrate to intervene, the seizure of a printed periodical can be effected by the police authority, who shall communicate the fact to the public prosecution service. If the latter does not validate the act within 48 hours, the seizure shall be considered as revoked and null and void.
(Exercise of Radio Broadcasting Activity)
58. Radio broadcasting activity is exercised by the State, and a special law may determine the forms of licensing and of the exercise of the private commercial radio stations.
59. The granting of a concession for public service radio broadcasting is attributed to Radio Nacional de Angola.
Radio-electrical spectrum is an integral part of the public area and is regulated by a special law.
Radio broadcasting stations should present regular news bulletins during the transmission.
60. The transmission of programs with pornographic or obscene language, or programs which are an attack on morals and good habits and practices, is prohibited.
61. The transmission of programs which incite to violence, the practice of crimes or violate the fundamental rights, freedoms and guarantees of the citizen are prohibited.
63. The transmission of programs which may negatively influence the formation of the personality of children and adolescents, or which may impress other listeners, namely through the description of violent or shocking scenes, should be preceded by an express warning, accompanied by an appropriate indication and be broadcast at a late hour in the night.
64. For the purposes of the present law, a late hour in the night is understood to mean a period of broadcast subsequent to 22 hours.
(Exercise of the Activity of Television)
65. The activity of television is exercised exclusively by the State.
66. The granting of a concession for public service television is attributed to Angola Public Television.
To this effect, the provision contained in Article 29 of the present law is applicable to television.
(Publication of Official Notes)
67. Press houses should disseminate freely, the official notes proceeding from the organs of State sovereignty, in the first edition after reception.
68. Radio broadcasting and public television stations should, also, proceed to the free dissemination and in full, with the appropriate emphasis and maximum urgency, of official notes proceeding from the organs of State sovereignty, in the first edition after reception.
69. The dissemination of notes of other corporate bodies, including religious entities, is subject to internal criteria arising from the editorial profile of each press house.
(Periodicals, journalistic and editorial houses)
70. Periodicals, journalistic houses, editorial houses, may not initiate their activity nor edit any publication until they are registered at the Ministry of Social Communication.
72. The deadline for the registration of periodicals and editorial houses is 30 days as of the date of publication of their incorporation, in the Gazette.
73. Failure to communicate to the owners of the above-mentioned houses in the previous numbers any objection by the Ministry of Social Communication, within 30 days, shall be construed to mean there is no impediment to the exercise of the activity.
74. Foreign news agencies and correspondents of foreign press need authorization from the Ministry of Social Communication, to exercise their activity in Angola.
75. The registration of these entities is processed automatically with the authorization by the Ministry of Social Communication to grant them permit to start their activity in the country.
(Organization for Registration)
76. The Ministry of Social Communication shall internally organize the following registers:
36. periodicals, with the indication of title, frequency, headquarters, owners, the respective management bodies and chiefs;
37. journalistic houses and partners in journalistic houses, with the indication of the share holders, their description and the management bodies;
38. editorial houses, with the indication of the headquarters and the respective management bodies;
39. foreign news agencies authorized to exercise their activity in the Republic of Angola, with indication of headquarters, form of constitution and the person in charge in Angola;
40. foreign press correspondents
77. Modifications which may occur in any of the elements envisaged in no. 1 of this article, shall be communicated to the Ministry of Social Communication, within the maximum deadline of 30 days, from its occurrence.
(Identification and Registration of Programs)
78. Radio and television programs shall include the indication of the title and name of the officer in charge, as well as the artistic and technical details, and a register must be organized to specify the identity of the author, producer and performer.
79. Those in charge of the programming are responsible for the program, in the absence of the elements mentioned in the previous number.
80. All programs must be recorded and preserved, for a minimum period of 30 days, if a longer period of time is not specified by judicial authority, and this shall constitute the respective recording and element of proof.
(Registration of disseminated music)
81. The recordings of disseminated music must be organized on a regular basis, for purposes of royalty.
82. The recordings shall contain the following information:
41. title of the music;
42. name of composer;
44. language utilized;
45. editing house or origin of the magnetic recording;
46. date and hour of transmission;
47. official in charge of the transmission.
The Right of Response and of Rectification
(Right of Response)
83. Any individual or corporate body, service or public organization who considers himself wronged by the publication of a periodical, the transmission of a radio or television broadcast of direct offenses or of reference to unverified or erroneous facts, which may affect his good name and reputation, has the right of response.
84. The right of response shall be exercised by the affected person, by his legal representative, by his heirs or by the surviving spouse, within 30 days following the said publication or broadcast, except if special circumstances, duly justified, advise the fixing of a longer deadline.
85. The right of response shall be exercised through a petition contained in a letter with recorded delivery, addressed to the management of the periodical or the owners of the station, in which objective reference shall be made to the offensive, unverified or erroneous fact, and an indication of the content of the intended response.
86. The content of the response shall be limited to direct and useful reference to the article or the broadcast which provoked it, and may not exceed the number of words of the responded text, nor contain expressions which may involve civil or criminal liability, in which case, the author of the response may be held liable.
87. The right of response is independent of the civil or criminal liability which the case may attract.
88. The claimant of the right to response, or his representative, for purposes of its exercise, may demand a review of the material in question and request the management of the periodical or of the broadcast station to provide due clarification on the content of the same or, in addition, on its precise meaning and significance.
89. Following consultation of the material, the audition or review of the recording referred to in the previous number, and the obtaining of the due clarifications, the claimant is entitled to opt for a rectification, to be published or broadcast with the content and in the other conditions which may be proposed to him, or through the exercise of the right of response.
(Decision about publication of response or rectification)
90. The management of the periodical or of the radio or television broadcasting station shall decide on the publication of the response or the rectification, within 72 hours of the receipt of the letter in which the request has been formalized, and shall communicate to the interested party the respective decision within the next 48 hours.
91. If the entity on which falls the decision mentioned in the previous number, verifies that the facts stated in the response do not meet the requirements envisaged in Article 37, or that the response violates the provision of no. 4 of the same article, its publication may be rejected, and such a decision shall be communicated to the interested party within 48 hours.
(Coercive compliance with the right of response and rectification)
92. Where the right of response or rectification is not fulfilled or is rejected without foundation, the interested party may, within 10 days, resort to the judicial court of his domicile, so as to order the publication and to the National Social Communication Council, within the terms of the legislation especially applicable.
93. Having applied for judicial notification of the manager of the periodical or of the broadcasting or television station, for not fulfilling the right to response or rectification, the same shall be immediately notified to respond, within 5 days, following which a decision shall be reached, within the same deadline, from which there shall be appeal with a merely devolutive effect.
94. Only documentary evidence shall be admitted, all such documents being put together with the initial request and with the response.
95. Where the request is entertained, the periodical or radio or television station in question shall publish the response or the rectification within 72 hours.
(Publication of the Response or Rectification)
96. The publication of the response or rectification, in the periodicals, shall be effected without encumbrance, in the same location and with the same characters of the article which may have provoked it, on once occasion, without interpolations nor interruptions. The publication of the response or rectification shall be effected within 72 hours of the date of its receipt, in case of a daily periodical, or in the publication immediately following the receipt of the response, in case of non daily publications.
97. The publication of the response or rectification shall be effected up to 72 hours, as of the date of its receipt.
98. In the publication of the response or rectification, mention shall be made of the entity which determined it.
99. In the case of radio and television stations, the response or rectification shall be read out by a presenter of the broadcasting station and shall assume the same form as that utilized to perpetrate the alleged offense, and in case of television, audio-visual assets may be utilized, if the alleged offense utilized the same technique.
100. The publication of the response or rectification may not be preceded nor followed by any comments, except those necessary to identify the respondent or to rectify possible factual inaccuracies contained therein.
The deadline for the exercise of the right of response or rectification, shall be 45 days, as of the date of the publication or broadcast in question, on pain of being considered as expired.
Liability for abuse of press freedom
(Forms of Liability)
Authors shall incur disciplinary, civil and criminal liability, for acts committed through the press, which may be offensive to the interests and values protected by law.
(Liability for disciplinary action)
Disciplinary liability shall always lie, under the law, independently or cumulatively with civil or criminal liability or both.
101. In the determination of the forms of effecting civil liability arising from facts committed through the press, the general principles shall be observed.
102. In case of an article or image inserted into a periodical or radio or television program, with the knowledge and without the opposition of the director or his legal substitute, the press houses shall be liable, in solidarity with the author, for the damage which may have been caused.
The following shall be criminally liable for the abuse of press freedom:
103. In unitary publications, successively:
48. the editor, except in cases of unwarranted reproduction, in which the person who shall have provoked it shall be liable;
49. the author of the article or image.
104. In periodicals and news agencies, successively:
50. the author of the article or image, if he is susceptible to be liable and resides in Angola, except in cases of unwarranted reproduction, in which the person promoting it shall be liable and, the director of the periodical or of the news agency, if he cannot prove that it was impossible for him to prevent the publication;
51. the director of the periodical or news agency, in case of an article or image not signed or the author is not susceptible to be liable and does not reside in Angola, if he cannot exonerate himself in the form envisaged in the previous paragraph;
52. the official responsible for the insertion, in case of articles or images not signed, published without the knowledge of the director or when it is impossible for the latter to prevent the publication.
106. In radio and television programs, successively:
53. the director, the officials in charge of the programming or their substitutes, in case of an article or image not signed or the author cannot be held liable and does not reside in Angola;
54. the program or film producer or the author of the article in question.
107. The technical staff in the service of the radio and television operators may not be held liable for the broadcasts to which they give their professional contribution, except when they are accomplices of the illegal exercise of that activity or for the broadcast of programs not authorized by the competent authority.
(Graduated scale of fines)
The fines envisaged under the present law are fixed for a determined period, and each day of fine corresponds to 5 minimum salaries applicable in the public service that the judge shall apply, taking into consideration the economic and financial situation of the offender.
Abuse of Press Freedom
(Crimes of abuse of the press)
108. For purposes of the present law, crimes of abuse of the press are considered as acts or behavior which is offensive to the legal values and interests legally protected, which may be committed by the publication of texts or images through the press, radio or television station.
109. The publication of texts or images through the press, which may offend the legal values and interests legally protected, is punishable under the terms of the present law.
110. Penal legislation shall be applicable to crimes of abuse of the press, which may not be expressly envisaged under the present law.
(Revealing State Secrets)
Any person who may publish or disseminate, through the press houses:
a) State or military secrets, namely news or information pertaining to the preparation of internal or external defense of the State, the preparation of military campaigns by the armed forces and their strategy, military techniques and the composition of the forces and the respective itineraries, provided secrecy is considered as necessary, and is imposed by a ruling or prior recommendation, describing them as secret, confidential or reserved;
55. secret news or information of interest to the security of the State, provided there is also a ruling or legal imposition of secrecy, confidentiality or reservation;
shall be punished with a heavy prison term of 2 to 8 years.
Side paragraph: The fine shall be aggravated in general terms, if the crime is committed in times of war.
(Subversion of the political and social order)
Anyone who, through the press houses, shall make or promote war propaganda, promote actions of armed rebellion or of separatist groups, for the subversion of the political and social order, shall be liable to a heavy prison term of 8 to 12 years and a fine, if no other heavier fine fits the crime.
Side paragraph: Anyone who publishes or disseminates news from the foreign press with the same objective, shall be liable to the same fine.
(Extortion or Black Mail)
Anyone who obtains or seeks to obtain for himself or for third parties, a favor, money or any other reward or advantage, to stop or prevent the publication, broadcast or distribution of news, shall be liable to a heavy prison term of 2 to 8 years and a fine.
(Instigation to crime)
Anyone who, through the press houses, incites the practice of any breach of the penal laws and the military laws and regulations, shall be liable to a prison term and a fine.
&1 : if the incitement is followed by the practice of a crime, the sentence shall be as envisaged for the respective crime.
&2 : if he makes a defense of the criminal fact or of the perpetrator of the crime, the sentence shall be a prison term and a fine.
(Publication of false News)
Anyone who publishes or disseminates false news, unfounded rumors, or true but misrepresented or distorted facts through the press houses, and who provokes the disturbance of public order and tranquility, of the democratic order, or causes social panic or mistrust in the banking or financial system, shall be liable to a prison term and a fine.
Side paragraph: In these cases, the proof of the veracity of the facts shall be admitted.
(Offending public morals and good habits)
Anyone who publishes or disseminates, through the press houses, a text or image which may be offensive to public moral and good habits, shall be liable to a prison term and a fine.
(Slander, defamation, insult and threat)
111. Anyone who, through the press houses, slanders someone by falsely attributing to him a fact defined as crime, defames someone by attributing to him a fact offensive to his reputation or otherwise insults someone by offending his dignity and decorum, shall be liable to a prison term and a fine, if no heavier fine fits the crime.
Side paragraph: The same liability shall apply to anyone who, through the press houses, threatens another person, with some harm which may constitute a crime or slander, or who slanders, discredits or insults the memory of the dead.
112. The crimes envisaged in the previous number, when committed against the incumbents of Angolan organs of sovereignty, the Prosecutor General of the Republic, public authorities, public servants in the exercise of their duties, foreign Heads of State, members of foreign Governments or, against any foreign diplomatic representative accredited to the Republic of Angola, shall be liable to a heavy prison term of 2 to 8 years and a fine.
113. The crimes envisaged in number 2 of this article, shall be considered as practiced in the presence of the above-mentioned entities.
(Proof of the veracity of the facts)
114. In the case of defamation, the proof of the veracity of the facts ascribed shall be admitted, except:
56. if such facts constitute an offense pardoned, prescribed or if its author has already been rehabilitated;
57. if such facts pertain to the private or family life of the person offended;
58. when, in the case of individuals, the imputation may have been done where neither the public interest nor that of the offender, justify its dissemination.
115. In the case of insult, the proof to be established, in accordance with the provisions of the previous number, shall only be admitted after the author of the text or image, at the request of the offended party, substantiates the facts on which the offense has been based.
117. In providing proof of the veracity of the facts, when admitted, the offender shall be exempted from the fine. On the contrary, the offender shall be punished as slanderer and condemned to a prison term of up to 2 years and a fine, besides compensation for damages which shall be fixed by the court, in a sum not inferior to 100 minimum salaries of the public service.
118. The director of the periodical shall be liable as accomplice in the case of paragraph b) of no. 1 of the present article, and the periodical shall be condemned to pay a fine not inferior to 20 days.
119. Suspension may be imposed on the periodical in which articles or images may have been published and which may have given rise, over a period of 3 years, to three convictions for crimes of defamation, insult or slander:
59. if a daily, up to one moth;
60. if a weekly, up to six months;
61. if a monthly of longer frequency, up to one year;
62. in cases of intermediate frequency, the maximum time of suspension shall be calculated by reducing proportionately the maximums of the previous paragraphs.
120. The director of the press house which may be convicted, for the third time, for defamation, insult or slander, committed through the press, radio or television station, shall be disqualified, for a period of three years, from managing that press house.
121. If the accusation is public, the agent of the Public Prosecution Service shall request the corresponding reparation to revert to State coffers; the same applies when the slandered party rejects the compensation to which he is entitled.
122. If the defamatory facts are published or broadcast by simple negligence and are not proved, under the terms of no.1, the author of the article, image or program shall be liable to a fine of 10 days, and 20 days in case of relapse, independently of the civil reparation which may have taken place.
(Attack on the honor and reputation of the President of the Republic)
Anyone who, through the press houses, publishes, disseminates or reproduces news or facts of the national or foreign press, which attack the honor and reputation of the President of the Republic, a foreign Head of State or his representative accredited in Angola, shall be liable to a heavy prison term of 2 to 8 years and a fine.
(Inadmissibility of proof of veracity of facts)
The attack on the President of the Republic or foreign Head of State or his representative in Angola, does not admit proof of the veracity of the facts.
123. The following constitute crimes of qualified disobedience:
63. the publication of a periodical legally suspended or apprehended;
65. the importation for distribution, dissemination or sale, of an unauthorized or prohibited foreign publication;
66. the refusal to publish or disseminate judicial decisions which convict for crimes of abuse of the press.
67. initiate activity of any journalistic or editorial house and the edition of any publication, before effecting its registration, in the terms envisaged under the present law;
68. not effecting the legal deposit, in accordance with the provisions of the present law;
69. the patronage of programs which relate to news, telecasts and programs of political information;
70. initiating activities of foreign news agencies or of foreign press correspondent, without any authorization from the competent authority;
71. non dissemination of the means of funding, in accordance with the provisions of the present law.
124. The crimes envisaged under the previous number are punishable with a prison term of up to two years and a fine.
(Irregular exercise of press activity)
125. Publications which may intentionally not contain any of the following mentions shall be considered as clandestine:
72. author and editor, in case of a unitary publication;
73. name of publication, director, owner and location of headquarters, in case of periodicals.
126. The editing, composition, printing, distribution and sale of illegal and clandestine publications shall be punishable with a fine of up to 50 days, or up to 100 days, in case of relapse.
127. Individuals or corporate bodies who intentionally organize or promote the behavior referred to in the previous number, shall be punishable with a fine of 50 to 100 days, or of 100 to 200 days, in case of relapse.
128. The police authorities may apprehend clandestine publications, transferring the fact to a competent magistrate, within 72 hours.
Anyone who lends his name to conceal the true owner, partner, director, official in charge or intellectual guide or administrator of press houses, shall be liable to a prison term and a fine.
Side paragraph: The same shall apply to anyone who stands to benefit from the simulation or who may have determined or promoted it.
(Suspension of foreign publications)
129. The court may suspend the circulation of foreign publications which may contain an article or image of an incriminating nature, in accordance with Angolan penal law.
130. Foreign publications may be apprehended preventively by the court, in case they place public order at risk, violate individual rights or, on repeated occasions, incite the practice of crimes.
(Malicious broadcast of prohibited programs)
Anyone who maliciously promotes or collaborates in the broadcast of prohibited programs, shall be liable to a fine of 100 to 200 days, if no other heavier penalty fits the crime.
(Violation of rights, freedoms and guarantees)
131. All those who violate the rights, freedoms and guarantees enshrined in the present law shall be liable to a fine of 90 days, without prejudice to civil liability for the damages caused.
132. In case the offender is an agent of the State or of any corporate body of public law, he shall also be liable to the crime of abuse of authority, and the State or the corporate body of public law, shall be liable in solidarity with him for the payment of the fine mentioned above in no.1, when the violation is committed in the exercise of his functions.
Initiative for proceedings and penal action
(Initiative for proceedings)
133. In the crimes envisaged in articles 49 to 54 and in article 55, no. 2 and article 58 of the present law, and in the remaining crimes of abuse of the press, punishable by a heavy prison term, pursuant to the penal legislation, the Prosecutor General of the Republic shall order the competent bodies to initiate criminal proceedings, without prejudice to the initiative for proceedings by the competent police authorities or by substantiated accusations of any interested party.
134. Likewise, the Prosecutor General of the Republic shall order the initiation of criminal proceedings, for crimes punishable by heavy prison terms, which are attributed to the entities mentioned in no. 2 of article 55 of the present law, through the press houses, with a view to verifying the existence of criminal offense, without prejudice to the initiative for proceedings of the competent police authorities.
135. In the remaining crimes of abuse of the press, envisaged in the present law, as well as those not punishable by heavy prison terms, under the penal legislation, the initiative for proceedings falls upon the offended or whoever has the capacity to represent him.
136. Penal action shall be exercised by the Public Prosecution Services, for crimes envisaged in no. 1 of the previous article.
137. The exercise of penal action falls on the Public Prosecution Services, in case there is the existence of criminal offense, as mentioned in no. 2 of the previous article.
138. In crimes referred to in no. 3 of the previous article, penal action falls on the offended or on whoever has the capacity to represent him.
Criminal proceedings for crimes of press abuse, prescribes the passing of 2 years, as of the date of the publication of the incriminating fact.
Competence and form of proceeding
The offenses envisaged in the present law shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts.
139. In order to recognize the offenses envisaged in the present law, the court in the area of the headquarters of the press house is competent, save for the recognition of crimes of defamation, slander, insult or threat, in which case the court of the area of the domicile of the offended party shall have competence.
140. When it is a case of clandestine publications or editions of non periodical publications and the defining element of competence is unknown, in the terms of the previous number, the court in the area where the publications are apprehended shall have competence.
141. The Provincial Tribunal of Luanda shall have competence to recognize the matter to which article 58 refers.
(Form of proceeding)
142. The corresponding norms of the law on penal proceedings shall be applied to the penal offenses committed though the press.
143. The provisions of articles 587 and subsequent articles of the Code of Penal Proceedings shall apply to the crimes of defamation, insult and slander.
(Celerity of proceedings)
144. The proceedings for crimes of abuse of the press have an urgent nature, even though the suspects may not be under arrest.
146. The urgent nature of the proceedings for crimes of press abuse implies the reduction by half of any deadline envisaged in the Code of Penal Proceedings, without prejudice to the immediate execution of the order, dispatch or contact, when the law or the authority so determine.
147. Where the suspect is under arrest, the deadline for the preparation of the instruction shall be 30 days.
(Regime of evidence)
148. To prove offensive, non veridical or erroneous content of the publication or broadcast and, without prejudice to the production of other means of evidence admitted by law, the interested party may request, in the terms of the Code of Civil Proceedings, that the broadcasting entity be notified to present, within a given deadline, the recordings of the respective program.
149. Besides the means of evidence referred to in the previous number, only other documentary proof shall be admitted, to be joined together with the initial application or with the response.
150. Acquittal or convictions decisions shall be subject to appeal, in the general terms of the penal proceedings law.
151. The deadline for the filing of the appeal is seven days from the date of the notification of the decision.
152. The judge shall grant or deny the appeal within the maximum deadline of three days.
(Publication of the judicial decision)
153. Convictions decisions for crimes of press abuse, shall be published without encumbrance by extract in the same press house, and it shall contain the proven facts, the identity of the offended party and the conviction, the sanctions applied and the compensation fixed.
154. In the case of acquittal decisions, their publication shall also be effected without encumbrance and by extract, with the mention of the accused having been cleared of the charges.
Final and transitory provisions
(National Social Communication Council)
A special law regulates the attributions, composition, organization and functioning of the National Social Communication Council, which is an independent body, with the aim of guaranteeing objectivity and transparency of information and of safeguarding freedom of expression and of thought in the press, in accordance with the rights enshrined in the Constitutional Law.
(Right to air time, right of response and of political refutation)
The political parties shall be guaranteed the right to air time, right of response and right of political refutation, in the public services of radio and television broadcast, in terms to be defined by a special law.
(Recordings, archives and royalties)
155. The entities which exercise activities of radio and television broadcast must organize sound, musical and audio-visual archives, with the aim of preserving the recordings of public interest.
156. The transfer and utilization of the recordings mentioned in the previous number shall be defined in a joint legal instrument of the incumbents of the Ministries of Social Communication and of Education and Culture, keeping in mind their historical, educational and cultural value for the community, and liability for royalties and other rights protected by law fall on the requisitioning authority.
(Statute of Journalists)
157. The exercise of the activity as journalist shall be regulated by a statute and a code of ethics.
158. The statute of journalist shall guarantee to the journalist, before the public authorities, the rights which are implied in the exercise of his activity and define the duties which arise therefrom.
159. It is up to the Government, on the advise of the journalistsÕ associations, to approve the statute of journalists.
(Duty of the State in promoting and protecting the Press)
160. With a view to guaranteeing the possibility of the expression and comparison of the various currents of opinion, the State shall organize a system of incentives of support to the press, based on general and objective criteria, to be determined in a specific law.
161. Acquisitions by press houses, or any participation in counterpart entities, shall be notified to the Ministry of Social Communication and to the National Social Communication Council.
162. The general regime of defense and promotion of competition shall be applicable to the press houses, namely with regard to prohibited practices, especially the abuse of a dominant position and the concentration of enterprises.
164. Operations of horizontal concentration of the entities mentioned in the previous number, shall be communicated to the Ministry of Social Communication and to the National Social Communication Council, for purposes of issuing its prior binding opinion, which shall only be negative, when it is proven that free expression and the comparison of the various currents of opinion are called into question.
Press houses legally constituted, existent as of the date of the publication of the present law, have a deadline of 90 days to regularize their situation, at the end of which they shall be considered illegal.
(Revocation of Legislation)
The entire legislation which may contradict the provisions of the present law is hereby revoked, namely Law no. 22/91 of 15 June, paragraph f) of no. 1 of Article 17 of Law no. 10/88 of 2 July and Articles 8 and 18 and nos. 1, 2 and 3 of the side paragraph of Article 24 of law no. 7/78, of 26 May.
(Coming into Effect)
The present law shall come into effect on the date of its publication.
Seen as approved by the National Assembly.
Luanda, on ………. of …….. 2000.
The President of the National Assembly, Roberto Ant–nio Francisco V’ctor de Almeida.
President of the Republic, JosŽ Eduardo dos Santos.