292/04 : Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa / Angola th 292/04 IHRDA (on behalf of Esmaila Connateh & 13 others) / Republic of Angola [24 AAR] Summary of Facts 1. The complaint is filed by the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA) on behalf of Mr Esmaila Connateh and 13 other Gambians deported from Angola in March, April and May of 2004. 2. The complaint alleges the capricious arrest and deportation, in violation of their human and peoples’ rights, of the said Gambians who were alleged to have been legally residing and working in Angola. 3. It is alleged that the government of Angola put into effect the Operaçao Brilhante, a campaign with the objective of expelling foreigners from Angola. Many foreigners were deported from many areas especially those in the diamond mining areas. The complainants, who are of Gambian nationality, alleged that they were arbitrarily arrested, detained and later deported from Angola without any legal protection. It is estimated that 126,247 foreigners were deported from Angola. 4. The complaint further alleges that those expelled were maltreated due to their nationalities and origin, and in the process the Angolan authorities confiscated their official documents, including passports, visas, residence permits, [and] work authorisation. In some cases, money was demanded from them, and those who could not afford the money were seriously beaten. 5. The Complainant alleges further that those expelled were detained in detention centres in different areas of Angola including Cafunfu, Kisangili, Saurimo, and Launda, under conditions which were not suitable for human habitation. It is alleged that the detention camps were initially used to house animals and contained a plethora of animal waste. The detainees were faced with harsh conditions such as: no medical attention; lack of food; poor sanitation. For instance, there where there were only 2 buckets of water provided for 500 detainees to use in the bathroom; the bathroom was not separated from the sleeping and eating areas. 6. The complaint further alleges that the Angolan Armed Forces raided villages where the victims resided. They were arrested in their homes as well as on the streets at checkpoints. There was no arrest warrants issued or any reason given for the arrests. Moreover, the victims were not provided access to courts of law in order to challenge the reasons for their arrests. 7. It is further alleged that the victims’ property was seized and they were denied to take their property during the alleged deportation. Some of the items that were confiscated from them they left behind, and that were confiscated from them include: television sets, shoes, wristwatches, clothing, generators, television, furniture and cash. 8. According to the Complainant, although the victims had work permits and relevant documents to engage in mining activities in Angola, they were arrested on the mere premise that foreigners were not allowed to engage in mining activities in the country. Complaint 9. The Complainant alleges violation of Articles 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7(1)(a), 12(4) 12(5), 14 and 15 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Procedure 10. The complaint was dated 4 October 2004 and received at the Secretariat of the African Commission on 6 October 2004. th nd th 11. At its 36 Ordinary Session held in Dakar, Senegal from 2 November to 7 December 2004, the African Commission examined the complaint and decided to be seized thereof.

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