DRC illegally detained, tortured pro-democracy activists - HRW

2015-04-16 16:09


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kinshasa - Security forces in Democratic Republic of Congo have illegally detained and tortured pro-democracy advocates as part of a crackdown before a presidential election next year, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Thursday.

As many as 40 activists, musicians and journalists were arrested in the capital Kinshasa on March 15 during a news conference organised by Congolese and West African campaigners to promote youth participation in politics.

The government says the organisers were teaching armed insurrection. A security source told Reuters that investigators are probing the financing of the event

Three activists remain in the custody of the National Intelligence Agency (ANR), though they have not been charged or given access to a lawyer, as required by Congolese law, the US rights campaigner said in a statement.

Intelligence agents and police in the eastern city of Goma also arrested members of the group Struggle for Change (Lucha) who peacefully protested the Kinshasa detentions.

Four Lucha members arrested on 7 April are being held in Goma's central prison on charges of inciting disobedience to public authority, HRW said.

Government spokesman Lambert Mende referred questions about the report to the prosecutor-general, who did not respond to a request for comment.

The political climate is tense in Congo ahead of a presidential election scheduled for late next year when President Joseph Kabila's mandate is set to expire

Read more on:    hrw  |  drc  |  central africa  |  security

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.