Rafael Marques was sentenced to six years in prison in May 2015, suspended for two years, for slandering 12 people including members of the Angolan armed forces, following the publication of his book “Diamantes de Sangue - Corrupção e Tortura em Angola”, (Blood diamonds – Corruption and Torture in Angola) in 2011.
In the book, the journalist says army generals and two mining corporations were accomplices in human rights abuse in the diamond mining districts of Lundas.
The petition was launched to ensure Marques gets a fair appeal, which has been pending since last year.
Besides the question of Rafael Marques, the president of Amnesty International Portugal, Susana Gaspar, said she had also raised the question of the 15 activists who are detained for allegedly trying an attempted coup, and the case of José Mavungo, sentenced to six years in prison on 14 September 2015 for a crime against state security by trying to organise a demonstration in Cabinda, and Aarão Bula Tembo.
“We want the Angolan government to begin respecting, or at least showing they respect human rights. We want this visibility for the respect for human rights”, she said.
No one at the Embassy was available to speak to reporters.
On 1 March 2016 Angola took over the rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council.
Ms. Gaspar added: “Given that, from 1 March, Angola assumed the chairmanship of the UN Security Council, hopefully it will also meet the recommendations of this body, to accept the recommendations by the universal periodic review, by the Special Rapporteur and, above all, the new decisions by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.”