Marques de Morais, An Elephant In The Angolan KP Room

Opinion piece
07/04/2015 21:01

JCK's Rob Bates discusses the case of Rafael Marques de Morais, the Angolan NGO activist that is currently standing trial in his home country, facing charges of defamation by seven government-connected generals over his book Blood Diamonds: Corruption and Torture in Angola. Marques de Morais, who has written and spoken frequently about the human rights problems in the country’s diamond fields, potentially faces emprisonment. That puts the country in an awkward position, with Angola this year chairing the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, designed to stop conflict diamonds, and providing a forum for NGOs, government officials, and the diamond industry to discuss issues in an open, substantive way. Bates argues that cases like Morais' strike at the heart of what the KP tries to do and could potentially imply an embarrassment is in the making for the Kimberley Process.