Angola: ICJ cable to the Prime Minister of Portugal
The ICJ sent today a cable to the Prime Minister of Portugal requesting his intervention to enable Doctor Manuel Juan da Palma Carlos to leave Lisbon for Luanda to defend persons accused of distributing a seditious publication.
The trial began on July 25, Dr. da Palma Carlos was prevented from leaving Lisbon Airport on Saturday, July 23, by the PIDI, a special police force under the personal authority of the Prime Minister of Portugal. He was given no reason for this action. A copy of the cable has been sent to the President of the Bar Association of Lisbon. The text of the cable to the Prime Minister is:
THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF JURISTS, A NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION REPRESENTING THOUSANDS OF JUDGES, LAWYERS AND TEACHERS OF LAW IN COUNTRIES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, HAS LEARNED THAT THE AUTHORITIES OF YOUR EXCELLENCY’S GOVERNMENT HAVE PREVENTED DOCTOR MANUEL JUAN DA PALMA CARLOS FROM GOING TO LUANDA, ANGOLA. HE IS ONE OF THE LEADING COUNSEL OF THE TEAM DEFENDING FIFTY SEVEN PERSONS ACCUSED OF SEDITION. IF DOCTOR DA PALMA CARLOS IS NOT ALLOWED TO ATTEND THE TRIAL THE ACCUSED WILL BE DENIED THE RIGHT TO COUNSEL OF THEIR OWN CHOICE. IN CONSIDERATION OF THE CONCLUSIONS ON CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE APPROVED BY THE INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF JURISTS HELD IN NEW DELHI IN JANUARY 1959 AND THE PHINCIPLES OF THE RIGHTS OF THE DEFENCE AS GUARANTEED BY ARTICLE 8 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF PORTUGAL AND SIMILAR RIGHTS TO FREE CHOICE OF COUNSEL GRANTED IN MOST COUNTRIES, THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF JURISTS EXPRESSES GRAVE CONCERN OVER THIS INTERFERENCE WITH THE RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED AND REQUESTS YOUR EXCELLENCY TO INTERVENE WITH THE PROPER AUTHORITIES TO PERMIT DOCTOR DA PALMA CARLOS TO SERVE THE ACCUSED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THESE RIGHTS. THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF JURISTS HAS ALSO REQUESTED AN OBSERVER OF BRAZILIAN NATIONALITY TO APPLY IN BRAZIL FOR A VISA TO ATTEND THE TRIALS ON BEHALF OF THE COMMISSION.
At he same time a cable was despatched to the Governor-General of Angola, requesting the adjournment of the trial until the arrival of Doctor da Palma Carlos, the advocate chosen for the defense. This cable reads:
THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF JURISTS, A NON-GOVERMENTAL ORGANIZATION REPRESENTING THOUSANDS OF JUDGES, LAWYERS AND TEACHERS OF LAW IN COUNTRIES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, HAS TODAY CABLED A REQUEST TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRIME MINISTER OF PORTUGAL FOR HIS PERSONAL INTERVENTION WITH THE PROPER AUTHORITIES WHO ARE PREVENTING DOCTOR MANUEL JUAN DA PALMA CARLOS FROM GOING TO LUANDA, ANGOLA, TO REPRESENT SOME OF THE FIFTY SEVEN ACCUSED AT PRESENT ON TRIAL FOR SEDITION AND HAS EXPRESSED ITS GRAVE CONCERN TO HIM OVER THE INTERFERENCE WITH THE RIGHT OF THE ACCUSED TO THE SERVICES OF COUNSEL OF THEIR OWN CHOICE. THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION EARNESTLY REQUESTS POSTPONEMENT OF THE TRIAL PENDING THE ARRIVAL OF A LEADER OF THE TEAM OF DEFENCE LAWYERS
JEAN-FLAVIEN LALIVE SECRETARY-GENERAL