Angolan media report that 17 political activists have been sentenced to jail after being convicted of plotting to overthrow the southern African nation's government.

A state-owned newspaper reported Tuesday that the youth activists were found guilty of preparing a rebellion and criminal conspiracy. Jornal de Angola said the defense will appeal Monday's ruling.

Independent news website Rede Angola said the activists were handed jail terms ranging from two years to over eight years and each ordered to pay $315 in legal costs.

Angolan activist and journalist Rafael Marques de Morais said the group was arrested at a 2015 meeting where they were studying a book on nonviolent resistance.

Rights group Amnesty International condemned the ruling, saying the trial was politicized.

Angola's president has been in power for 36 years.