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Journalist receives three months' suspended prison sentence over article criticising soldiers

(MISA/IFEX) - On 28 July 2009, the Provincial Tribunal of Luanda sentenced Eugénio Mateus, a journalist with the "O País" weekly newspaper, to a three-month suspended prison term for alleged abuse of the media.

Charges against Mateus are linked to an opinion article he wrote in 2007 concerning the military's "bad use of uniform" and the soldiers' tendency for excessive use of alcohol. The article prompted a reaction from the army's chief of staff, Major-General Pereira Furtado, who claimed the article was an abuse of the media.

The charges dates back to the time when Mateus used to work for the weekly newspaper "A Capital." According to the the newspaper's director, Tandala Francisco, the opinion article by Mateus only expressed a reality open for all to see. He condemned the attitude of the Major-General as "an intimidation act and promotion of censorship amongst the journalists."

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