Angolan TikToker, Neth Nahara bags two years jail term for insulting President João Lourenço

Angolan TikToker, Neth Nahara bags two years jail term for insulting President João Lourenço

Ana da Silva Miguel, a well-known social media influencer in Angola, who goes by the name Neth Nahara, has had her prison term extended to two years for allegedly “insulting” President João Lourenço on video sharing app, TikTok.

Initially, in August, Ms. Miguel  received a six-month sentence, but an appellate court deemed the initial punishment too lenient and subsequently increased it to two years.

On her TikTok account, Ms. Miguel leveled accusations against the president, citing “anarchy and disorganization,” and holding him responsible for problems such as the shortage of schools, housing, and employment within the country.

President Lourenço secured his second term in office during the August re-election, maintaining the MPLA party’s enduring authority. The MPLA has held power since Angola’s independence in 1975 and has been accused of governing in a repressive manner.

The appeals court in the capital, Luanda, justified the harsher sentence for Ms. Miguel by pointing to her offensive remarks against the president and her substantial impact on public opinion.

Despite her plea for leniency, emphasizing her status as a first-time offender and a mother of young children who expressed regret for her comments, the court rejected her request and mandated her to pay President Lourenço $1,200 (£1,000) for purportedly causing harm to his reputation.

According to her lawyer, Ms. Miguel, boasting more than 230,000 TikTok followers and thousands of views on her videos, is the first individual in Angola to be sentenced for content shared on TikTok.

It is worth noting that Supreme Court appeals are only allowed for sentences longer than three years.

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