The Allard Prize for International Integrity strongly condemns the recent charges filed against Angolan journalist and human rights defender, Rafael Marques de Morais, co-recipient of the 2015 Allard Prize for International Integrity, and Angolan journalist Mariano Brás Lourenço. The Allard Prize calls upon the Government of Angola to immediately drop the charges against Mr. Marques de Morais and Mr. Brás Lourenço, and ensure they are afforded their internationally-guaranteed rights to freedom of expression and opinion without fear of sanction and harassment.
Supported by numerous human rights lawyers and educators, and individuals with a deep and longstanding commitment to Africa, the Allard Prize called upon the Canadian Ambassador to Angola, Mr. Kumar Gupta, to monitor this case to ensure that the rights of Mr. Marques de Morais and Mr. Brás Lourenço are protected. In response, the Embassy of Canada in Zimbabwe (accredited to Angola) has pledged to contact Mr. Marques de Morais as well as regional civil society organizations and other country missions with resident embassies in Angola to gain further information on the matter and assess next steps.
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