Angola president pardons 225 inmates

Angola’s President José Eduardo dos Santos has pardoned 225 inmates serving up to 12 years in jail.
The pardon is contained in a presidential decree ahead of Angola’s 40th independence anniversary celebrations on November 11.
The decision will benefit those who have already served half of their terms, plus women inmates who have children aged less than 12 years. The other condition is that their crimes should not have involved death, rape or theft.
The jail terms for those sentenced beyond 12 years have been cut by a third.
However, political prisoners will not benefit from the presidential pardons. These include 15 activists jailed last June in Luanda for allegedly plotting a coup d’état.
Also in a similar situation could be an Angolan human rights activist sentenced last month to six years in prison for “rebelling against the government”.
Work boycott
José Marcos Mavungo had been arrested on March 3 and charged with displaying banners inciting violence, insubordination and threatening state security in Cabinda Province.
Meanwhile, a Luanda court has sentenced 38 taxi drivers arrested on Monday to two months’ imprisonment and fined them Kwanzas 70,000 ($200) each for participating in a strike.
The taxi drivers were on a five-day strike to protest alleged corruption by the police and the lack of designated stages for their operations.
Those who defied the work boycott were set upon by their protesting colleagues, leading to several people suffering injuries and property of unknown value being destroyed.
Thirty-two others were to know their fate Thursday, while next Monday it will be the turn of the remaining 105 to be sentenced.