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HomeGeneralTSHISEKEDI’S PETTY ORDER: Kalonda’s Belgian Lawyers Denied Visa Access Into DR Congo

TSHISEKEDI’S PETTY ORDER: Kalonda’s Belgian Lawyers Denied Visa Access Into DR Congo

DR Congo President Fèlix Tshisekedi’s lack of respect for human rights has hit a new low of pettiness after instructing the authorities to deny the lawyers of opposition Ensemble Pour la Republique President Moïse Katumbi’s special advisor, Salomon Kalonda visa access into the country.

Kalonda who is facing several charges including alleged collusion with M23 rebels to overthrow Tshisekedi, is due to attend his second hearing before the Gombe Military Court this Monday, 18 September.

However, Kalonda’s Belgian legal representatives have seen their visa applications denied by the Congolese authorities at the order of President Tshisekedi.

Belgian lawyers Alexis Deswaef with his colleague, Dimitri de Beco, had applied for for visas at the beginning of this month as they prepare to travel to the DR Congo to represent their client but for their applications to be denied.

“I was told this Tuesday, September 12 about unfavorable opinion from Kinshasa and our passports were returned to us,” Deswaef said in a telephone interview from Belgium.

Meanwhile, Kalonda’s other legal representative, De Beco described the move as a cowardly by President Tshisekedi who was determined to go to any length to frustrate the opposition ahead of the December Presidential Elections.

“It is a flagrant violation of the rights of the defense. Further proof that Salomon Kalonda is a political prisoner in the hands of the highest Congolese authorities,

“What a lamentable headlong flight by President Tshisekedi in the face of the Congolese political opposition. His fear of losing the upcoming elections means that he will stop at nothing, including human rights violations and arbitrary arrests, as he himself announced in his recent speech” De Beco says.

De Beco made reference to remarks made by President Tshisekedi in the month of June during his visit of Kananga where he affirmed that he had no lesson in democracy to learn and that he would not bother himself with considerations linked to human rights.

A few days later after Tshisekedi’s careless comments on July 12, Cherubin Okende, the spokesperson for the opposition Ensemble Pour la Republique party, was gruesomely assassinated.

Since then, several journalists have been arrested including Peter Tiani and most recently Stanis Bujakera among others while on August 30, a massacre was perpetrated in Goma where more than 50 defenseless civilians lost their lives at the hands of state armed forces under the command of Tshisekedi.

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