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DRC: 18 arrested activists in Goma released

DRC: 18 arrested activists in Goma released

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Eighteen civil society activists arrested after a silent march on Tuesday in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, have been released on Saturday after posting bail, their movement said.

“Our 18 comrades who were arrested in Goma on Tuesday, March 15 have just been released by prosecutors on bail. Small victory,” Struggle for Change movement (Lucha) said on their Twitter page.

“We each paid a fine of 30,000 Congolese francs (32 dollars),” Wasingia Antoine, one of the released activists told AFP.

“We had no intention of paying because we are aware that we have not committed any offense. Our families were afraid for our lives and paid for our release,” he added.

The 18 activists who are members of the outraged youth movement, Lucha, based in Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu (eastern DRC), were arrested during a silent march calling for the release of Fred Bauma and Yves Makwambala.

Bauma and Makwambala are two civil society activists held in Kinshasa for a year after their arrest on March 15, 2015 at an international meeting on good governance in Africa organized by the Filimbi movement, a group that focuses on citizenship education.

Fred Bauma, 26, is one of the leaders of Lucha, an indignant youth movement aligned to Filimbi and determined to hold accountable the Congolese leaders while Yves Makwambala, 32 years, is the webmaster and graphic designer of Filimbi.

The two men are accused of plotting against President Joseph Kabila. They have been observing a hunger strike since Tuesday to protest their “illegal” detention by Congolese justice.