A lawyer representing an academic and a journalist said they have been acquitted of libel charges stemming from a Facebook post criticizing Mozambique's former president.

Defense lawyer Alvaro Pinto Basto said on Wednesday that a judge ruled that criticizing the president was not defamation.

Rights group Amnesty International said in a statement that economist Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco was charged for criticizing Mozambique's former president in a 2013 Facebook post. Newspaper editor Fernando Mbanze was prosecuted for abusing press freedom by republishing the commentary.

In Angola, rights groups say a human rights activist was convicted with "rebellion" for organizing a peaceful demonstration.

Several rights groups said in a statement that José Marcos Mavungo's conviction may set a precedent for the 16 other Angolans detained under similar charges.