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ON THE EVE OF A NEW HEARING: The Civil Society Challenge Tshisekedi & The Judicial System, Call For Release of Unlawfully-Detained Stanis Bujakera

Civil society and human rights organizations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have challenged Republican President Fèlix Tshisekedi and the country’s judicial system to released detained journalist Stanis Bujakera.

Accused of publishing falsehoods indicating that the Congolese intelligence services carried out the assassination of former Transport Minister Chérubin Okende, Bujakera has been in police custody since last September with the authorities continously pushing back the request for his provisional release.

On the eve of a new hearing, the civil society and human rights activists released a joint-statement on Wednesday demanding for the “immediate and unconditional” release of the international journalist and Jeune Afrique correspondent.

The joint-statement entitled “Civil society appeal against repression and arbitrary arrests” has been signed by Congo is not for sale, Panel of civil society experts, Asadho, Alerte-RDC, civil society forces Long live, Lucha, Filimbi and Syfeddi.

The civil society stressed that when a state tracks down innocent citizens, its leaders become “criminals” and must be accountable to the people as the sole holders of sovereignty.

“We must first consider that in relation to the judicial authorities, our appeal is that several personalities of our country who have been implicated for more serious acts than that which Stanis Bujakera Tshiamala is accused of had obtained at a given moment provisional release and therefore for us, we consider that granting provisional release to Mr. Stanis Bujakera Tshiamala constitutes fairness because all Congolese must be treated in the same way” the statement read.

At the previous hearing, Bujakera’s lawyers denounced the parajudicial influences which risks the penalizing their client.

The civil society also shared the same opinion and stated that Bujakera had been under arrest at the order or request of a category of people.

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