Angola prisoner beatings caught on film, 16 suspended

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 27, 2013 11:18 AM
Angola prisoner beatings caught on film, 16 suspended

LUANDA (Reuters) - Angola suspended 16 prison guards and firemen on Friday for a brutal attack on inmates that was filmed on a mobile phone and circulated on the Internet, a rare reaction to public anger from one of Africa's most authoritarian governments.

The five-minute video, which was seen by Reuters, showed the guards kicking and beating several prisoners with sticks. Others are heard laughing before leaving the inmates on the floor bleeding and crying.

"We express our indignation at the acts performed by these officers," the Interior Ministry said in a statement. The prison's director was among those suspended and criminal charges were likely to follow, it added.

London-based rights group Amnesty International called the incident shocking and urged the government, which is frequently accused of rights abuses, to prosecute the guards. Such incidents were common in Africa's second-biggest oil producer, it added.

Footage of an incident at another jail in Luanda a year ago led to the firing of the prison director, his deputy and two guards, the Interior Ministry said.

(Reporting by Shrikesh Laxmidas; Editing by Ed Cropley)