Casablanca (ADV) – The public prosecutor has taken three years in prison for five pro-democracy activists detained since December and charged with insulting President Joseph Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The five activists – Carbone Beni, Mino Bopomi, Cédric Kalonji, Grace Tshunza and Palmer Kabeya – are accused of insulting the head of state, publishing subversive writings and inciting civil disobedience.
They had been arrested at the end of December because they were mobilizing for the March 31st Catholic march asking President Kabila to step down.
Fifteen people died in the crackdown on three marches organized by a group of Catholic laity demanding the departure of President Kabila.
The five activists were presented to the prosecution in early June after more than five months of detention without charge or legal aid or access to the premises of the National Intelligence Agency (ANR).
Mr Kabila, who can’t run for office under the constitution, has finally appointed his former interior minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary on August 8 as a candidate for the majority in the upcoming presidential election scheduled for December 23.
© Bur-csa – ADV