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Shock as Angola's LGBT Community Attacked at Burial of Murdered Leader Carlos Fernandes

by Melanie Nathan, March 03, 2024,

African Human Rights Coalition calls on Angola to follow the 2019 decriminalization of homosexuality with awareness and capacity building programs to rid the country of homophobia, noting that decriminalization is not enough to rid a country of deep rooted homophobia that brings violence and death such as in the case of leader Carlos Fernandes. We also call on the Angolan Government to investigate the killing, an assassination and to bring those responsible to justice.

Assault on LGBTQIAP+ Community at Carlos Fernandes Funeral

It is with deep sorrow and indignation that we come to the public to vehemently repudiate the acts of violence and discrimination perpetrated against members of the LGBTQIAP+ community during the funeral of Carlos Fernandes, which took place at the Benfica Cemetery.

As the bereaved community came together to pay their final respects to a dear friend, brother and LGBTQIAP+ family member, we were confronted with a shocking scene of intolerance and aggression. Unscrupulous, totally organized individuals driven by hate and the lack of respect for basic human rights brutally attacked people who were vulnerable, amid the pain of loss.

It is important to note that despite the violence perpetrated, fortunately there were no major physical consequences for the victims. However, we cannot ignore the emotional and psychological impact that this type of incident has on those who were the targets of these attacks and on the entire LGBTQIAP+ community.

We reiterate that diversity is one of the fundamental pillars of a fair and inclusive society. No one should be subjected to any form of discrimination, whether based on sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion or any other personal characteristic.

We appeal to all citizens to stand in solidarity with the victims and unite in defense of human rights and equality for all. We must strengthen the commitment to mutual respect, empathy and compassion, especially in moments of pain and grief.

May this unfortunate incident serve as a call to action for us all to commit to building a more just, inclusive, and loving society where everyone feels safe and respected, regardless of who they are or who they love.

Together, let us fight hate with love, intolerance with understanding, and violence with solidarity.

In memory of Carlos Fernandes and in support of the LGBTQIAP+ community

In 2019 Angola decriminalized the homosexuality in Angola, yet nothing has happened in that country to combat deeply rooted taboos, discrimination, persecution and violence perpetrated against the LGBTQI+ community.

READ MORE: AHRC Mourns the Devastating Loss of Carlos Fernandes, Director of Associação Íris Angola.

African Human Rights Coalition mourns the devastating loss of  our friend and colleague Carlos Fernandes, the Director of Associação Íris Angola.

Carlos Fernandes a beautiful human, a generous soul, has been taken too soon. His work as a leader to the LGBTQI+ community in Angola extended to all the help he provided for the safety of asylum seekers abroad, to those fleeing the dangers for LGBTQI+ people in Angola. He was so wonderfully helpful to us at African Human Rights Coalition and will be so sorely missed. - a true advocate and hero.

We have not heard official cause of death but we are told he was assassinated - based on his SOGIESC and the work for his community. While we do wait for officials to confirm the cause of his death, we do not trust the police or government to reveal the truth. Police still mistreat LGBTQI+ people and the Angolan government needs to do much more to protect this community, especially as they are no longer considered criminal. We urge the Angolan government to conduct a full investigation and to tell the truth, ensuring equal justice for all and for Carlos. Read more:


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