TWO JOURNALISTS MURDERED
Augusto Sebastiao Domingos Pedro, a correspondent for the state-owned "Jornal de Angola" in the western province of Bengo, was beaten to death after an argument with a driver, Bento Valente, at a petrol station in Luanda on 8 July. He had worked for the newspaper, the country's only daily, since 1997.
Meanwhile, Benicio Wedeinge, director of the public television station TPA in the southern province of Cunene, was killed by two shots fired by an unidentified intruder who broke into his home in Onjiva in the early hours of 16 July, according to his niece. The authorities have not yet arrested anyone in the case.
Avelino Miguel, editor of the "Jornal de Angola" and president of the Union of Angolan Journalists (SJA), believes the sudden surge of violence is part of a strategy to intimidate the media in the run-up to the country's first elections in 15 years, which the government has promised without so far setting a date. RSF notes that press freedom is severely limited by the state's near monopoly over the media and strict defamation laws.
"The situation of the press has nonetheless improved considerably since the end of the civil war in 2002 and President José Eduardo Dos Santos has announced his intention to open up the media to the private sector," adds RSF.
Visit these links:
- RSF: http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=18293
- Human Rights Watch Backgrounder: http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/01/18/angola12306.htm