14 April 2011
PEN International's Writers in Prison Committee welcomes the 6 April 2011 release on bail of reporter Armando José Chicoca, who was sentenced to one year in prison and a heavy fine on defamation charges on 3 March. Chicoca was freed on bail of $2,400 following an order by the Angolan Supreme Court. His appeal was initially rejected by a provincial court which said that it had been lodged after the expiry date. His lawyer filed a complaint to the Supreme Court arguing that the last day by which the appeal could be lodged was a holiday and so it had been submitted the following day. PEN welcomes Chicoca's release, however it remains concerned that he has been convicted solely for reporting on sexual harassment allegations against a judge in the region, which is a clear breach of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Angola is party.
For more information on Chicoca's case see RAN 11/11