campaign for the release of prisoners of conscience

A campaign poster by Denis Sassou Nguesso, re-elected president, March 23, 2021.

A campaign poster by Denis Sassou Nguesso, re-elected president, March 23, 2021.

In Congo-Brazzaville, civil society organizations are in the midst of an awareness campaign to obtain the release of at least five activists, whom they consider to be prisoners of conscience.

With our correspondent in Brazzaville, Loïcia Martial

The current campaign is marked by postings. On the posters, you can see photos of activists arrested in recent months. This is the case of human rights defender Alex Dzabana, 77, and Christ Dongui of the Citizen Movement Ras-le-bol.

The Circle for Human Rights and Development (CDHD) headed by Roch Euloge Nzobo is one of the three NGOs behind the campaign. ” They are prisoners of opinions in fact, he explains. We felt that ultimately we should be able to initiate another advocacy process. That’s why we started this campaign. Apart from that, we are seeing the possibilities of carrying out a great advocacy at the level of diplomatic missions and if possible seize the United Nations system. ”Mr. Nzobo said.

Attack on internal security

The arrested activists are accused in particular of “threat to internal state security “. An accusation that does not pass, in the eyes of Roch Euloge Nzobo who especially denounces the conditions in which they were arrested.

« Some of them were kidnapped. Alex Dzabana has been kidnapped. Christ Dongui was abducted from his home at 5 a.m., he specifies. Which is not in accordance with the law. These police officers in charge of arresting them behave like gangsters. They didn’t even have a warrant issued by a judge », Lamented Mr. Nzobo.

For their lawyers, the accused’s file is empty. But their efforts so far have proved unsuccessful.

► To read also: Congo-Brazzaville: repression intensifies, denounces Amnesty International

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