Six reporters working for news outlets TV Zimbo and TV Palanca were on 10 January 2022 assaulted by unidentified people and forced to flee to safety while reporting on a nationwide strike by taxi drivers in the capital Luanda, it has been reported.
The reporters said they were only saved by the intervention of the police, as the mob sought to burn them. The incident happened as the TV Palanca crew was about to go live with their report from where the strike was taking place.
“We were four journalists from Palanca-tv, Orlando Luís, Anselmo Nhaty, Daniel Lutava and António Luamba. We were getting ready to launch the live signal when we were verbally and physically attacked, and almost burned,” one of the journalists, Nhaty, was quoted as saying.
The other journalists that were attacked are TV Zimbo reporter Telmo Gama and his cameraman Justino Campos.
An association of taxi drivers called for nationwide protests against COVID-19 regulations, which stipulate how many passengers should be transported in public transport. A number of people have since been arrested.
The secretary-general of the Journalists Syndicate, Teixeira Cândido, told the Committee to Protect Journalists that public media journalists are increasingly becoming the targets of people’s anger because of the perceived bias against the government and ruling party. TV Zimbo and TV Palanca were nationalised by the Angolan government in mid-2020.
The assault of journalists while on duty is regrettable. The media should be allowed to conduct its operations without fear of intimidation or harassment.
With Angola due to hold elections this year, the attacks could be ominous for media workers as political tempers rise ahead of the polls.
MISA calls on the authorities in Angola to expeditiously deal with the perpetrators of these attacks so as to send a strong message to other would-be offenders.
Source: MISA Zimbabwe