Rafael Marques de Morais

Angolan journalist and civil rights activist

Rafael Marques de Morais is an award-winning Angolan investigative journalist and human rights activist who is known for his more than two decades of reporting exposing public corruption in Angola. He is the founder of Maka Angola, an anti-corruption watchdog. In 1999, he was imprisoned for over a month—including 11 days in solitary confinement—and given a six-month suspended prison sentence for writing an article titled “The Lipstick of Dictatorship,” in which he denounced Angolan ruler José Eduardo dos Santos as a dictator and exposed his involvement in corruption. In 2011, he published a book, “”Blood Diamonds: Corruption and Torture in Angola, which was an investigation on corruption and human rights abuses in Angola’s diamond industry,”” which resulted in a suspended six-month prison sentence in 2015. He is the recipient of multiple awards, such as the Civil Courage Prize, Transparency International’s Integrity Award, the Allard Prize for Integrity, the US National Association of Black Journalists’ Percy Qoboza Award, and the Gerald Loeb Award for International Reporting.

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