Urgent Action Outcome: Activist Released After 18 Months Of Detention
On 23 June- after 18 months in detention in connection to his peaceful activism- Angolan activist Gilson da Silva Morreira (also known as Tanaice Neutro) was unconditionally released from detention. The activist – who was arrested in connection to videos he posted on social media expressing frustration with the situation in Angola – was tried in October 2022 and handed a suspended sentence of 15 months. The judge, however, ordered his immediate release on health grounds. But the penitentiary services refused to release him. A visit from the Minister of Interior and a successful habeas corpus helped secure his release.
NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.
Angolan activist Gilson da Silva Morreira (also known as Tanaice Neutro) was held in arbitrary detention for 18 months in connection to his peaceful activism.
In the first week of May, his lawyer submitted a habeas corpus. On 18 May, the Court ordered the authorities to release Tanaice Neutro. However, the penitentiary services, even with the court order, refused to release Tanaice Neutro. On 22 June, the court called Tanaice Neutro’s family and lawyers to give assurances that the release had already been issued weeks ago. After a lot of pressure, Angola’s Minister of Interior paid a visit on 22 June to Tanaice Neutro in detention, assuring him that he would be freed in a few days. On the night of 23 June, Tanaice Neutro was unconditionally released. The main priority now is that he receives the much-needed medical treatment, including surgery. After this, his lawyers plan to initiate a lawsuit against the state for the damages caused.
Following the launch of the Urgent Action (UA), the case of Tanaice Neutro received visibility that it did not have before. The UA made it possible to create a narrative about his detention that did not exist before. It also strengthened Tanaice Neutro's self-esteem and morale.
Tanaice Neutro is a popular artist who often uses kuduro, a type of Angolan music, to express himself on social issues in the country. He was arrested on 13 January 2022 in connection with videos he posted on social media expressing frustration with the situation in Angola, including the level of poverty, bad governance, corruption, and repression, and called on Angolans to stand up for their rights. In the videos, he also called the president a ‘clown’ and the authorities – who he accused of abusing their power through arbitrarily arresting people- ‘ignorant’. He was tried in October 2022 and handed a suspended sentence of 15 months for causing outrage against state symbols. The judge, however, ordered his immediate release on health grounds. Despite this Tanaice Neutro remained in detention for another eight months. Tanaice Neutro suffered from severe physical and mental pain while in detention – requiring urgent medical care which he did not receive.