Statement by the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA) to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
In 2004, IHRDA filed a communication on behalf of Mr Esmaila Connateh and 13 other Gambians deported from Angola in March, April and May of 2004, together with an estimated 126,247 other foreigners. They were expelled under a government programme called Operaçao Brilhante, whose aim was to rid the mining areas of foreigners. The complainants alleged that they were legally resident in Angola and possessed the requisite work permits and authorisations. In the process of expelling them, they were detained under grossly inhuman conditions. They were also not afforded access to due process to challenge the legality of their arrest, detention and deportation.