30 June 2016
Angola’s Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the conditional release of 17 political activists, known as the Luanda Book Club, who were last year convicted of plotting to overthrow the Angolan government.
The activists were arrested after a 2015 meeting in Luanda to discuss Gene Sharp’s 1993 book: “From Dictatorship to Democracy, A Conceptual Framework for Liberation.”
In a trial described by Amnesty International as “deeply politicised”, the activists were then found guilty of criminal conspiracy and planning a rebellion and thereby given jail terms of up to 8 and a half years.
The release is conditional and will be served under house arrest. However, the conditional release is pending a final decision in the group’s case.
President Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola, is one of Africa’s longest-reigning presidents, having ruled in power since 1979.