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Angola: UN expert says attacks against trade union leader Eduardo Peres Alberto must end

13 July 2023

GENEVA (13 July 2023) – A UN expert has urged Angola to end the harassment against human rights defender and trade union leader, Eduardo Peres Alberto.

Teachers and university professors have been striking in Angola since 2022 against the state of education in the country.

As leader of “The Secretary General of the Union of Higher Education Teachers”, otherwise known as SINPES, Eduardo Peres Alberto has been a driving force in the industrial action to secure improvements in working conditions for teachers, according to Mary Lawlor, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

“We are shocked that SINPES’ choice to exercise their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and to freedom of opinion and expression, has led to harassment of Mr. Eduardo Peres Alberto,” she said.

“Mr Alberto has been the subject of ongoing intimidation and is receiving threatening text messages since March 2023,” she said.

The Special Rapporteur expressed grave concern that threats, and attacks had also been directed at Peres Alberto’s family.

The trade union leader’s home was vandalised, and a photo of his daughter accompanied by a threatening message was left on the property.

“These threats became all too real on 25 April 2023, when unidentified men attacked Mr Peres Alberto’s daughter with tear gas,” the expert said.

Lawlor noted that the intimidation and physical attacks perpetrated against the trade union leader and his family appear to be related to his work in the defence of human rights and as leader of SINPES.

“The Government of Angola must explain these allegations and take measures to ensure the safety of Mr Peres Alberto and his family,” the expert said. She also requested an update on the investigation into the attacks against the human rights defender.

This is not the first time UN experts express concerns about threats and harassment against civil society actors. They are in contact with the Government of Angola on this issue.

ENDS

*The expert: Ms. Mary Lawlor (Ireland) is the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

The statement is endorsed by Ms. Irene Khan, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Ms. Farida Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Mr. Clément Nyaletsossi Volue, Special Rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and association

For more information and media request please contact:

Sophie Helle ([email protected])

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact

Maya Derouaz ([email protected]) or

Dharisha Indraguptha ([email protected])

Follow news related to the UN's independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts

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