Originally published on August 27, 2014, at ForceChange.com
Target: Jose Eduardo dos Santos, President of Angola
Goal: Stop the human rights abuses committed by the police and other security forces in Angola
Government officials are allowing arbitrary arrests, torture, and unlawful killings of civilians by the police. Activists are arrested for attending protests even though their constitution protects the right to assemble. With a lack of due process, suspects often face potentially life-threatening prison conditions and corrupt corrections officers. The Angolan government must root out these criminal cops to prevent further abuses against their people.
According to the U.S. State Department, widespread government corruption is responsible for the proliferation of dirty cops patrolling the streets. Two police officers reportedly shot a man twice in the head for confronting them after they had severely beaten his friend. Police regularly arrest activists without charges and utilize excessive force in order to intimidate protesters. The murders of political opponents are rarely investigated, allowing many assassins to walk free.
Suspects and prisoners are often subject to beatings, torture, and sexual abuse from their guards. Journalists have reported being beaten with batons, kicked to the floor, and received death threats from police officers. Other reports include security forces using pliers to remove fingernails during interrogations. Human Rights Watch reported that prison guards committed torture and sexual violence against inmates with the complicity of their superiors.
By signing the petition below, you will urge the President of Angola, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, to investigate the security forces committing these atrocious human rights abuses against the Angolan people.
Dear President Jose Eduardo dos Santos,
Both Human Rights Watch and the U.S. State Department have reported that your security forces are committing horrific human rights abuses against your citizens. Torturing suspects, arbitrarily arresting protesters, beating journalists, and killing innocent civilians are reprehensible crimes that need to be investigated immediately. Your people will never receive justice while their law enforcement officials remain exceedingly corrupt.
By turning a blind eye, your government appears to endorse this inhumane behavior and merely encourages further abuse. Corrupt governments breed corrupt law enforcement institutions. Taking a stance against excessive police brutality requires a proper investigation of every government official allowing these abuses to take place.
Continuing to ignore this situation will only result in further deaths and abuses. You have the power to save those lives and reform corrupt institutions that merely harm your own people. Unless you actively prosecute those responsible for these atrocities, any hope for peace and stability will rapidly deteriorate.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Dickelbers via Wikimedia Commons