Arrest of Civil Society Activists in the DRC Amid Commemoration Gathering

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A group of eight to twelve activists from various civic movements was arrested on Saturday evening while convening to commemorate and denounce the 600 days of rebel occupation of the city of Bunagana in eastern DRC by the M23 insurgents. The authorities have yet to disclose the reasons behind their arrest.

Prominent figures among the detained activists include Bienvenu Matumo and Fred Bauma from the Lucha movement. As they spend their second night in the cells of the National Intelligence Agency (ANR), concerns about the crackdown have been voiced by Maître Jean-Claude Katende, President of the Congolese Association for Human Rights (ASADHO). The arrested individuals were peacefully gathering to draw attention to the prolonged occupation in Bunagana, emphasizing the ongoing challenges faced by the affected population.

The lack of transparency surrounding the grounds for their detention raises apprehensions about potential human rights violations. The incident underscores the importance of safeguarding the right to peaceful assembly and free expression, pivotal elements in any democratic society. The international community and human rights organizations are closely monitoring the situation as calls for the immediate release of the activists gain momentum.

Soukaina Sghir

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