UN Human Rights Council
the UPR Working group sixth Session
Consideration of UPR Reports
Report of the UPR Working Group on Angola
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Delivered by John C. Mariz
The United States welcomes His Excelllency Georges Rebelo Chikoty, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and the Angolan delegation to the working group of the UPR. We have carefully considered the information Angola has provided in its national report and presentation today and offer the following comment and recommendations.
The United States commends Angola’s cooperation with the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in 2008. The United States remains concerned, however that suspects have been subjected to torture while in detention, including incommunicado detention. The United States recommends that Angola act on the recommendations of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, and ratify the Convention against Torture.
The United States commends Angola for the unconditional release in August 2009 of journalist Fernando Lelo. We note that defamation continues to be a criminal offense, that journalists continue to be harassed, and that in most areas citizens can only access government-controlled or strongly pro-government media organs. We recommend that Angola, working with the media and other stakeholders, decriminalize press activity and create an action plan aimed at greater media freedom and more plurality of media.
The United States remains concerned regarding trafficking in women and children. We welcome Angola’s cooperation with UNICEF to develop Child Protection Networks, the increase in intra-governmental cooperation on trafficking issues over the past two years, and government efforts to raise public awareness of the dangers of trafficking. These efforts have so far, however, proven to be insufficiently effective. We recommend that Angola ratify the 2000 UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol; enact specific laws to prohibit and punish all forms of trafficking in persons; increase the capacity of law enforcement officials to identify and protect victims; and to collect data systematically on trafficking offenses and prosecution efforts.
The United States appreciates Angola’s efforts to receive and reintegrate more than 50,000 Angolans who returned from the Democratic Republic of Congo in late 2009. We remain concerned about reports indicating that Congolese migrants being deported from Angola were subject to abuse, including rape, at the hands of Angola’s military and police forces. We recommend that Angola take steps to ensure that any deportations are conducted in coordination with the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and that returns respect the human rights and dignity of migrants.