New York, August 17, 2022 — In response to news reports that Angola police detained Coque Mukuta, a correspondent for U.S. Congress-funded Voice of America, for three hours while he was on assignment in the capital Luanda on Wednesday to cover a protest against electoral irregularities ahead of the scheduled August 24 election, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement:
“With Angola’s election a week away, authorities must ensure that members of the press are able to report freely without running the risk of overzealous police officers trying to censor what the public can hear and see through the media,” said Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator. “One benchmark of a free and fair election is the press’s ability to cover it without harassment or violence. Detaining journalists and trying to control how and what they report about is a sure way of derailing this.”
Protesters were prevented from marching to the office of the National Electoral Commission after police intervened and arrested at least 15 people, according to the news reports. CPJ has documented the harassment of journalists in Angola covering the leadup to the election.