Franck Diongo, a vocal opposition politician allied to the veteran leader Etienne Tshisekedi, is said to be fighting for his life in hospital after elements of the Republican Presidential Guard (GPR) detained him on Monday and went on to torture him for continually criticising outgoing DRC President Joseph Kabila.
As news of Diongo’s arrest and death began emerging on social media early this week, Kabila’s diplomatic advisor Kikaya bin Karubi announced swiftly that Diongo had been arrested for kidnapping and sequestrating three elements of the Presidential Guard.
But it was later found that while Karubi was hypocritically lying, Diongo was being tortured and left to die in jail. He is currently being treated in an emergency room at the Ngaliema Clinics in Kinshasa under heavy police guard.
He will appear in court as soon as he gets better – if he ever gets better – in connection with kidnapping elements of the security forces, court papers show.
Violence has erupted in the DRC since Monday midnight as Kabila refused to step down on December 19, the date which marks his departure after an ‘infertile’ 15-year rule.
Human Rights Watch’s Ida Sawyer said at least 26 anti-Kabila protesters have been shot dead on Tuesday by security forces in Kinshasa (16), Boma (5), Matadi (4) and Lubumbashi (1). Government spokesperson Lambert Mende has rejected the HRW figures, putting the death toll at nine.
Most foreign broadcasting media have been banned in the DRC, and those who got the chance to work there are not being allowed to film the events.
Maman Sidikou, head of the United Nations mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), has slammed the Congolese Police, ANR (intelligence services) and the GPR for using disproportionate force on innocent protesters and arresting at least 136 people under dubious conditions.
Photo: DRC radical opposition politician Franck Diongo, who is said to be fighting for life in hospital.