Journalist banned from leaving Angola

 A journalist from Angola has been barred from leaving the country to attend a training course in London. Gilberto Neto, was told there was a criminal charge standing against him in connection to an incident in 1999 when the Angolan Catholic radio station, Radio Ecclesia, rebroadcast a BBC interview with Jonas Savimbi, leader of the Unita rebels. Police at the time raided the Radio Ecclesia studios and arrested staff. When Mr Neto reported this incident for the newspaper for which he works, Folha Oito, he was arrested, with his editor, and charged with endangering state security and defaming the police. Neto said he was surprised that the emigration authorities had raised the issue again as he thought it had been resolved. Last September he was allowed to leave Angola to attend a conference in Swaziland. Neto said he is consulting his lawyer on what action to take next, but he will not be able to reach London in time for the start of his training course at Reuters today. This is the latest in a series of actions taken against journalists by the Angolan authorities recently. Last month Gilberto Neto was detained and interrogated along with a visiting French researcher, while working in Malange province. During the same month several Angolan and foreign journalists were barred from covering a story about forced evictions from an inner-city Luandan neighbourhood. And earlier this week two journalists from independent newspapers were arrested in the southern city of Lubango, where they were investigating corruption.

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