This platform is an initiative of five Congolese civil society organisations: the Congolese Association for Access to Justice (ACAJ), Action for Transparent and Peaceful Elections (AETA), Filimbi, Congolais Débout, and Fight for Change (Lucha).

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info@electionsrdcongo.com

Condition #2: the release of political prisoners

JA

-> Amnesty for all those convicted of political offenses, the unconditional release of all political prisoners and return of all exiles

In recent years, the number of political detainees and people in exile has increased relentlessly due to arbitrary political repression by the regime. In the New Year’s Eve agreement, much of the language addressed this issue with the aim of relaxing political tension. The decision was taken to release all those arrested on political grounds and those in exile. Among the many people involved, a separate list of “emblematic cases” was drawn up, relating to political figures from the opposition and civil society.

Today, the issue is still not fully resolved, even if the government has mentioned a number of releases. In actual fact, the regime is playing with the figures in a bid to convey the idea that the New Year’s Eve agreement is being applied, by highlighting a few actual releases. The facts, however, fly in the face of this strategy: others have been arrested for expressing their political views or simply for advocating compliance with the laws of the Republic and the Constitution. Furthermore, the fate of none of the “emblematic cases” has been determined. On the contrary, other pro-democracy activists from Lucha and Filimbi have once again been arrested.

The regime continues to drastically reduce the political arena. Detainees and prisoners like Franck Diongo and Diomi Ndongala are considered thugs and denied release, according to the Ministry of Justice. Nor are Floribert Anzuluni, Moses Katumbi and Mbusa Nyamwisi allowed to return home as free men. There is no mistaking the signs: the release of political prisoners and the return of exiles do not appear to be a priority for the regime. But without these two conditions, how can the country hold elections that are truly free, democratic and inclusive? It is now feared that repression will be intensified against all the voices rising up against the regime. The last example involves Gaël Mpoyo, persecuted by the regime, who had to go into exile for having reported, in a documentary, the expropriation by Joseph Kabila of several houses near Bukavu, in the east of the DRC.

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