By Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) regrets that the public in Angola are now denied all possibility of viewing two TV channels owned by Portugal’s SIC media group – SIC Noticias and SIC Internacional – which have been outspoken in their coverage of Angola.

The two Portuguese channels ceased to be accessible in Angola shortly before midnight on 4 June, when local satellite TV provider DSTV Multichoice dropped them from the range of channels available to its subscribers.

Angola’s biggest satellite TV provider, ZAP, the only other one offering the two channels, already dropped them three months ago. At the time, ZAP (which is owned by Isabel dos Santos, the president’s daughter) described their removal as just a routine adjustment.

The reason that DSTV Multichoice gave for dropping SIC Noticias and SIC Internacional was “too few viewers.”

RSF condemns the disappearance of these two channels from Angolan TV screens, regarding it as an act of censorship after SIC broadcast an investigative report in March about a financial scandal implicating President José Eduardo dos Santos.

SIC previous angered the government last November by broadcasting a report entitled, “Angola, a country rich with 20 million poor people” which questioned the record of Dos Santos’ 37 years as president.

Certain subjects such as corruption are rarely broached by the Angolan media, which are largely controlled by the president’s family or his allies. Aside from a few opposition media outlets, freely reported news and information can only be found on a few websites and social networks.

Angola is ranked 125th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index.