Between June and September, Human Rights Watch researcher Lisa Rimli conducted two research missions to Angola. At the official start of the election campaign, Human Rights Watch expressed concern that the pre-electoral environment was not conducive to free, fair and peaceful elections, due to restrictions on the media, freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly, as well as increasing incidents of political violence, particularly in the capital Luanda. Despite being rated as overwhelmingly free, fair and peaceful by international observer missions, Human Rights Watch found that Angola’s August 31 elections were marred by serious delays in the accreditation of opposition agents, and domestic and international observers, which hampered independent observation and monitoring, and by the pro-ruling party bias of the state media. Human Rights Watch also documented the arbitrary arrests of opposition agents and activists, polling station members and passers-by at protests in the centre as well as the periphery of Luanda immediately before and after the elections.
- Ms Lisa Rimli, Researcher, Human Rights Watch
- Dr Gwinyayi Dzinesa, Senior Researcher, CPRA
- Dr David Zounmenou, Acting Programme Manager, Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis (CPRA), Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria
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