Hunger strike in Angola: A life at stake
October 14, 2015   By:    Luaty Beirao   Comments are off   //   484 Views

The regime in Luanda is playing hardball with a prisoner’s life. Luaty Beirao, a 33-year old Angolan rapper and activist, is in a critical condition.

After 22 days of hunger strike, refusing water and food, his organs are shutting down.

He is one of 15 individuals to have been arrested and being held in prison since 20 June for allegedly trying to overthrow President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

The 15 were formally accused on 16 September, more than 90 days after their arrest.

There is no change in the legal standing of his case.

But on Sunday night, after the fourth day of silent candle-lit vigils for Beirao outside the Sagrada Familia Church in Luanda, police arrived with dogs and machine guns to break up the gathering.

“It’s disappointing from the government, that this is their response to the situation”, says Pedro Coquenão, a friend of Beirao.

“He remains present, he is there, and the demands remain the same, that the prisoners be allowed to wait for the trial at home.”

The hunger strike comes in the context of increasing social tension in Angola, hit hard by an economic slump due to low oil prices.

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