Angola: New Code Protects LGBTI Community
Following the Angolan parliament’s adoption of a new Penal Code decriminalizing same-sex activities and prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“Freedom House lauds this action by the Angolan Parliament to protect the dignity and rights of its citizens – particular those in the LGBTI community – by not only abolishing the colonial era law, but also, and more significantly, criminalizing any discrimination based on sexual orientation,” said Jon Temin, director for Africa programs at Freedom House. “This is another encouraging step taken by President Joao Lourenço and his government, demonstrating its increasing commitment to democracy and respect for human rights. We urge Angolan authorities to build upon this positive move and assert regional leadership against threats to rights, democracy, accountability and the rule of law.”
Since replacing longtime president José Eduardo dos Santos in 2017, Joao Lourenço has taken a number of progressive measures, most notably his effort to rid the country of corruption. Along with removing many of the central figures that had entrenched the culture of corruption in Angola, Lourenço has also adopted a more open policy with civil society organizations, human rights activists and journalists, and met with prominent representatives of a diverse range of civil society organizations.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.