<p>A peaceful march intended to demand the release and medical evacuation of Congolese opposition leader, General Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko has been banned by authorities.</p> <p>The march, planned by civil society organisations in the Congolese capital Brazzaville on Thursday, was expected to begin from the headquarters of the Congolese Human Rights Observatory (<span class="caps">OCDH</span>), at the premises of the Ministry of Justice, near the presidential palace.</p> <p>“It was a peaceful march in support of a request for medical evacuation of the opponent, General Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko who is very ill in a Brazzaville hospital. From the last news he is very ill. His health situation is deteriorating day by day. We believe that to allow a man to die in these conditions when the authorities can grant his request for evacuation is incomprehensible’‘, Trésor Nzila of the <span class="caps">OCHD</span> told journalists at a press conference.</p> <p>Charlin Kinouani, a member of the ‘‘Ras-Le-Bol Citizen’‘ Movement questions the motive behind denials for his release.</p> <p>‘‘We see officials in power being evacuated. We see the clearance notes circulating on social networks. Why can’t another Congolese citizen, a worthy son of this country, who has served the Republic with dignity, be granted permission to leave the country to be treated?”, he queried.</p> <p>The main crossroads on the route chosen by the <span class="caps">NGO</span>s were invaded by police forces in riot police vehicles or on foot. </p> <p>The Congolese authorities cited the “risks of coronavirus infections” to prohibit the march. General Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko, a candidate for the 2001 presidential elections, who was sentenced to 20 years with forced labour in 2018, has been hospitalized since July 2 at the military hospital in Brazzaville. </p> <p>His lawyers report of his general fatigue and lack of appetite.</p>
We believe that to allow a man to die in these conditions when the authorities can grant his request for evacuation is incomprehensible.