DRC activists protest against filth, 23 arrested

2017-04-29 21:40
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Kinshasa - A dozen activists have been arrested in the Democratic Republic of Congo after staging a protests against filth in the capital Kinshasa, says a report.  

According to Africa News, the protesters were rounded up by police in the central African nation’s capital early this week, loaded into police pick-up trucks and sent to a nearby police station where they were detained.

The DRC pro-democracy movement Lucha – set up in 2012 to advocate for democracy - said that at least 23 activists were detained at the Lufungula police station.  

The group added that the governor of Kinshasa who had earlier refused to meet with them visited the police station and ordered their release on condition that they remove their branded Lucha T-shirts.

It, however, said that the activists were driven out of the police station in the afternoon after refusing to remove their T-shirts.

The group had staged a protest calling on local authorities and residents to keep the city clean and free from dirt-related diseases.

One of the leaders, Bienvenu Matumo, said that they notified the city authorities about the march on April 21, but received no response.

He added that they then decided to carry on with their protest, which was supposed to end at the governor’s office where they would deliver a petition on measures to be taken to help keep the city clean.

Reports have said that members of the group have suffered arrests and imprisonment as a result of its strained relationship with the Congolese authorities.

In December last year, dozens of Lucha activists were arrested for protesting against President Joseph Kabila staying in power after the official expiration of his term on December 20.

They were released after weeks in prison and international condemnation and pressure.

The group at the time was quoted as saying no amount of intimidation was going to stop them from reclaiming their country, reported IB Times. 

"Intimidation, arrests, and killings are not things that will stop us, because we started this struggle to ensure that our children can inherit a more just, prosperous and democratic Congo," Serge Sivya, an activist and spokesperson for the group was quoted as saying. 

           Nous avons pu compter sept militants arrêtés, dont ceux de la Lucha et quelques uns de Il Est Temps. À                  confirmer. #KinPropre #RDC pic.twitter.com/hjU4Jmp326

Read more on:    joseph ­kabila  |  drc  |  central africa

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