In Angola, Rafael Marques and Sousa Jamba were decorated Thursday by the presidency of the Republic. One way to recognize their work on human rights and the fight against corruption.
Give honour where honour is due. A precept that the Angolan president Joao Lourenço put into execution by priming 70 high personalities of his country for their works at the service of the development of Angola.
Among these personalities, the journalist and human rights activist Rafael Marques and the writer and actor of the fight against corruption, Sousa Jamba. A gesture that is anything but bad news for most human rights defenders.
« Human rights activist and anti-corruption activist Rafael Marques and writer Sousa Jamba today received the Angolan Presidential Medal for their outstanding work for the benefit of the nation, » wrote Zenaida Machado, a member of Human Rights Watch (HRW) on his Twitter account.
For Joao Lourenço, this recognition « should put an end to the clichés and stereotypes Angola suffers in relation to its human rights record ».
The past is the reality that prevailed during the reign of dos Santos (1979-2017). Considered an « enemy of the state », Rafael Marques was often condemned by the justice of his country under the regime of the successor of Agostino Neto.
But since Joao Lourenço came to power in 2017, Luanda has been firing all of a sudden to bury in the garbage bin, this unglamorous past in terms of human rights. After the acquittal of the human rights defenders condemned under the old regime, Lourenço had even apologized to Raphael Marques after the latter had been repressed (by mistake protocol, it was said) by elements of the Presidency in a meeting with civil society.