Rafael Marques’ blood diamonds book online
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has decided to publish the Angolan journalist Rafael Marques de Morais’ censored book online. According to RSF, the book can be downloaded in English and in Portuguese from the organisation’s website.
Marques’ book named “Blood Diamonds: Corruption and Torture in Angola” has been censored in the country since its publication in 2011. The author was faced with charges of defaming several generals in a book about hundreds of human-rights abuses in Angola’s diamond mines.
On the 28th of May, as MISA reported, Marques was given a suspended six-month jail sentence in Luanda, Angola. In addition, judge Adriano Cerveira ordered him to withdraw the book from the market, including on the internet, and not to republish or translate it. The sentence came a few days after an initial dismissal of all charges.
This week, after the Marques’ sentence, tens of international signatories from the fields of technology, journalism, film and business, including jewellers Tiffany & Co and director Steve McQueen, have called on Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos to drop the prosecution of Marques.
“Making this book available shows that censorship is never a solution,” said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa desk. “By trying to suppress this information, Angola’s generals have in fact raised its profile and increased the visibility of Marques’ work in the media.”
Reporters Without Borders
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.