Rights in Exile Programme

Refugee Legal Aid Information for Lawyers Representing Refugees Globally

Angola LGBTI Resources

(See Below for Case Law, Evidence of Public Attitudes, NGOs that Assist or Advocate on LGBTI issues, and Country of Origin LGBTI Specialists)

 

According to Articles 70 and 71 of Angola’s Penal Code, inherited from the Portuguese colonial era, security measures are sanctioned for people who habitually practice sexual acts ‘against the order of nature’.

In 2011, Angolan Minister of Justice Gulhermina Prata called for a review of the Penal Code to place emphasis on re-socialisation rather than punishment.

A BBC report in 2012 mentioned a draft penal code due to go before parliament that would outlaw discrimination on grounds of sexuality.

A joint statement in support of Resolution 17/19 at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) was brought by South Africa and Brazil in March 2011 entitled ‘Ending Acts of Violence and Related Human Rights Violations Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity’. The statement called for a study by the High Commission on the extent of such discrimination and how it might be combated. Angola, along with nine other African states voted against the resolution, which was ultimately passed by 23 votes to 19.

It has been noted that Angola’s national legislation is at odds with international treaties to which it is party. Angola ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) on 10th Jan 1992. Under the ICCPR, states have a duty to protect LGBTI persons from violence according to the following articles:

  • Article 6 – Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right should be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.
  • Article 9 – Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person.

Angola ascended to the African (Banjul) Charter on Human and People’s Rights on 22nd February 1989. The following articles protect against LGBTI discrimination:

  • Article 2 - Every individual shall be entitled to the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed in the present Charter without distinction of any kind such as race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status.
  • Article 28 - Every individual shall have the duty to respect and consider his fellow beings without discrimination, and to maintain relations aimed at promoting, safeguarding and reinforcing mutual respect and tolerance.

 

CASE LAW

No case law on LGBTI asylum cases from Angola is listed here, but we welcome suggestions.

 

PUBLIC ATTITUDES AND/OR STATE'S CAPACITY TO PROTECT

Whilst there have been no documented cases in Angola of prosecution of homosexuality by the state, the US State Department has  disclosed isolated reports of LGBTI persons suffering harassment at the hands of their local communities.

According to Américo Kwanonoka, an anthropologist, Angolan society is not ready to accept homosexuality. Because of this many gay men choose marriage as a cover but continue sexual relationships with other men. The risk of persecution towards members of the LGBTI community extends to the area of HIV/AIDS prevention.

In 2010, there were reports that the appointment of Yitzhak Yanuka, the Israeli ambassador to Angola, was retracted due to the fact that he was openly gay. Angolan officials stated that they felt that the position should be filled by a more senior diplomat; Yankula later rescinded his candidacy due to ‘personal reasons’.

Since 2011 one of the most successful musical acts in Angola has been the transsexual artist Titica. Titica has regular appearances on TV and radio and has performed in front of President Jose Eduado Santos. However, in a recent interview with the BBC she recounted being beaten and stoned in public in Angola.

Political parties in Angola neither support nor openly condemn LGBTI rights. However, newspaper editorials and private publications in Angola have written of homosexuality as a ‘plague on civilisation’ and ‘the most worrying phenomena of modern times’.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has detailed that discrimination against homosexuality is such that gay people can expect to face day to day threats and abuse from strangers in the street.In 2005 a widely publicised gay wedding took place in Luanda when 21-year-old Aleksander Gregório and ‘Bruna’ (23) signed an unofficial letter of commitment in the presence of a retired notary. This was followed by extensive- and exclusively negative - media coverage and let to physical attacks on the couple.

 

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS (NGOs)

No NGOs working with LGBTI persons are listed here, but we welcome suggestions.

 

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN SPECIALISTS

No specialist on LGBTI issues in Angola is listed here, but we welcome suggestions.

 

Researched by: Adrian Henderson

Email: adehendersonatgmail [dot] com 

 

 

Share