Tag: Congo

DR Congo: Crackdown on Presidential Aspirant

Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have arrested at least 27 associates of Moise Katumbi, a presidential aspirant, and other opposition party members since late April 2016. Congo’s justice minister announced an investigation into Katumbi on May 4, the day he announced his candidacy.

The arrests occurred between April 22 and May 7 in and around the southern city of Lubumbashi, where Katumbi is based. The investigation into Katumbi for his alleged “recruitment of mercenaries, [including] several retired American soldiers,” appears politically motivated, Human Rights Watch said. On May 7 the prosecutor’s office in Lubumbashi summoned Katumbi to appear on May 9.

“The arrests and attacks in Lubumbashi appear to be more than just the usual police harassment, but targeted actions against a presidential aspirant and close supporters,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The government should urgently reverse course and ensure that opposition parties and all Congolese are freely able to express their views and peacefully assemble.”