June 14, 2024

A popular social media influencer in Angola, Ana da Silva Miguel, known as Neth Nahara, has seen her prison sentence increased to two years for “insulting” President João Lourenço on TikTok.

Initially sentenced to six months in August, an appeals court decided the initial sentence was too lenient and raised it to two years.

Ms. Miguel accused the president on her TikTok account of “anarchy and disorganization,” and blamed him for issues like the lack of schools, housing, and employment in the country.

President Lourenço was re-elected for a second term last August, continuing the MPLA party’s long-standing rule. The party has been in power since Angola’s independence in 1975 and has faced accusations of leading a repressive regime.

The appeals court in the capital, Luanda, cited Ms. Miguel’s offensive words against the president and her significant influence on public opinion as reasons for the harsher sentence.

Despite her plea for leniency as a first-time offender and mother of young children who regretted her remarks, the court dismissed her request and ordered her to pay President Lourenço $1,200 (£1,000) for “damage” to his reputation.

Ms. Miguel, with over 230,000 TikTok followers and thousands of views on her videos, is the first person in Angola to be convicted for content posted on TikTok, according to her lawyer.

The ruling is final, as appeals to the Supreme Court are only permitted for sentences exceeding three years.

See also  Today's Newspaper Frontpages (Thursday, October 26, 2023)

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