DRC civil society demands release of rights activists



Civil society groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Upper Katanga region are calling on the provincial authorities to release five human rights activists detained in Lubumbashi since 31 July. Some of the activists were sentenced to eight months in prison for “provocation and incitement to breach of authority” after they organized a march to demand publication of the electoral calendar.

The accused include Mr. Timothée Mbuya (above), a lawyer with the group JUSTICIA, a grantee of the National Endowment for Democracy.

The coalition of youth movements and human rights organizations that called for the protests—known as the Collective of Civil Society Actions (CASC)—said the protests were meant to show that the “patience of the Congolese people has reached its limit” and that the “misery overwhelming…the population” will only be resolved by the “organization of elections planned for December 2017 and the change in leadership the people are waiting for,” adds Human Rights Watch.

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