Yay Rafael & Safa!

News in Brief

Reporters from Angola and Saudi Arabia shared the ‘journalism’ Freedom of Expression award for 2015 given by Index on Censorship on 18 March.

Rafael Marques de Morais has exposed government and industry corruption and human rights abuses in Angola despite repeated arrests and threats, including a 40-day detention without charge.

After filing charges of crimes against humanity against seven Angolan generals, Marques de Morais was counter-sued for $1.6m by those same generals. He goes on trial on 23 April, facing an additional 15 charges of defamation, and up to 14 years in prison.

The additional charges arise from the testimonies regarding torture and killings that he brought together in his book Diamantes de Sangue: Tortura e Corrupção em Angola (Blood Diamonds: Torture and Corruption in Angola), published in Portugal in 2011.

The other winner of the journalism award was Safa Al Ahmad, who spent the last three years covertly filming a mass uprising in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.

She has been advised for her own safety not to return to her country, after extensive and violent online threats.

Awards were also given in three other categories: art, digital activism and campaigning.