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Preparations for Angola’s second peacetime polls scheduled for August are being overshadowed by allegations of electoral fraud, state media bias and growing concerns about a violent crackdown on activists and protestors. Human Rights Watch has criticised the government for its heavy-handed response to street demonstrations by former soldiers demanding unpaid military pensions, and the lobby group said that it was worried about a series of violent attacks on youth groups known for their criticism of the government. 'The recent spate of serious abuses against protesters is an alarming sign that Angola’s government will not tolerate peaceful dissent,' said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director.