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Prominent rights activist acquits court Angolan

Luanda-Angola’s Supreme Court on Friday acquitted a leading lobbyist that was imprisoned in 2015 for 6 years for intending an anti-government demonstration in the oil-rich district of Cabinda.
Marcos Mavungo was convicted last March for inciting a rebellion after he tried to organise a march against alleged bad governance in the northern province.
“The Supreme Court concluded that the charges against the accused are void. It decided to acquit Marcos Mavungo,” judge Simao de Sousa Victor said in the court decision.

Mavungo’s lawyer Francisco Luemba told AFP that his client was freed from prison immediately after the ruling.

Mavungo was a former member of Mpalabanda, a group which was banned in 2006 after it produced reports highlighting rights abuses by security forces in Cabinda province.

Cabinda, an Angolan territory separated from the rest of the country by a strip of the Democratic Republic of Congo, accounts for 60% of the nation’s crude oil production.

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Most of its 300 000 residents live in poverty, and a separatist guerrilla movement has rattled the province for decades.

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