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Jailed Angola activist (17) on hunger strike

05 November 2013, 20:28

Luanda - A 17-year-old Angolan activist arrested seven weeks ago for printing T-shirts calling the country's president a "dictator" has gone on a hunger strike, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

Manuel Chivonde Nito Alves started the strike on Sunday "to protest against his unjust and inhumane treatment... and to demand his release," his lawyer Zola Ferreira, told AFP.

Police arrested the youth in September after he placed an order for the printing of T-shirts that were to be worn at a protest march against the regime of Jose Eduardo Dos Santos.

The T-shirts called Dos Santos a "dictator" and stated "war is necessary and urgent."

He has been charged with insulting the president and could face a three-year prison sentence.

Amid threats of a crackdown, the 18 September demonstration failed to draw a significant crowd and it was dispersed by police.

Opposition parties and rights groups have called for the release of the young activist.

In the past two years, young Angolans have become increasingly critical of Dos Santos, who was last year re-elected for a further five years after 33 years at the head of the oil-rich nation.



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