Congolese bishops make appeal for political detainees

The Catholic Bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have appealed to the government to immediately release political prisoners who have not yet had access to a fair trial. 

In a statement on the issues, the prelates said “the imprisonment of political leaders, of candidates in the presidential elections, of members of the team of election campaigns of candidates, constitutes an insurmountable suffering, not only for families but also for Congolese peace lovers. This situation cannot leave us indifferent. We, Bishops of Congo, in the Year of the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, ask the President of the Republic, to free all political prisoners not properly judged.”

DRC remains on a knife-edge amid doubts as to the intentions of two-term President Joseph Kabila ahead of delayed elections. There are widespread suspicions that he will seek to subvert the constitutional limits on his power to sit for a third term, leading to fatal clashes with the authorities.