Rights group seeks end to violence against street vendors in Angola

posted in: Africa


Johannesburg, South Africa – Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged Angolan authorities to end violence against street vendors in the capital city of Luanda, allegedly perpetrated by the police during ”removal operations”.

The New York-based rights group said the government should immediately issue public orders to the police to stop the violence and ensure that any removal operations are conducted by professional officers operating with full respect for the law.

The call followed the release of a 38-page HRW report, ”Take That Filth Away’: Police Violence Against Street Vendors in Angola,” which describes how police officers and government inspectors, often in civilian clothes without identification, mistreat street traders, including
many women with children, during operations to force them off the streets.

“Every day police viciously beat and rob street traders in plain daylight and no one does anything about it,” Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at HRW, said in a statement issued here Monday. “Abuse and robbery is no way to conduct police business.”

According to HRW, police crackdowns on street traders have increased since October 2012, when the governor of Luanda declared that authorities would remove street vendors.