Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is relieved to learn that Angolan journalists Rafael Marques and Mariano Bras were acquitted on criminal defamation charges on 6 July.
“By recognizing that these journalists simply exercised ‘their right to inform,’ the Luanda court has sent a strong message of support for the freedom to do investigative reporting, including on cases of corruption involving senior officials,” said Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF’s Africa desk. “We now ask the authorities to overhaul Angola’s very draconian press legislation in order to create a favourable environment for the freedom to inform,”
Angola’s 2017 press law criminalizes defamation and allows the government to directly suspend media outlets without any reference to the courts.
On Thursday 5, RSF had asked to drop all the charges against the two journalists and called for the promises toward press freedom made by the new authorities to be translated into action.