Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



DRC: Call for provisional release of former Tshisekedi adviser

DRC: Call for provisional release of former Tshisekedi adviser
Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President of the DRC   -  
Copyright © africanews

Democratic Republic Of Congo

The defense of Fortunat Biselele, former private adviser to DRC President Felix Tshisekedi, imprisoned for four months for alleged "treason", called Tuesday for his provisional release for health reasons.

Detained since January 21 in Makala, the big prison of Kinshasa, Fortunat Biselele, who suffers from a "tear" in the right arm, "is going very very badly, his health is deteriorating day by day", said to the journalists his lawyer, Me Richard Bondo.

Prosecuted before the High Court of Kinshasa Gombe, he is due to appear on 19 May, said Mr. Bondo. "He is accused of treason, an offence punishable by death, for having been in intelligence with Rwanda, a foreign power that attacked" the Democratic Republic of Congo, the lawyer explained.

The case came to light after an interview in an online video in which Mr. Biselele spoke of the relations between the two countries. Biselele referred to the economic cooperation relations between President Tshisekedi and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame.

Those relations, which appeared to be normalizing between the DRC and Rwanda at the start of Tshisekedi's term in 2019, are now abysmal due to the resurgence of the March 23 Movement (M23), a mostly Tutsi rebellion defeated in 2013 that took up arms again in late 2021.

Since then, the M23, supported by the Rwandan army according to UN experts, has taken over large parts of North Kivu in eastern DRC.

According to Bondo, a few days after being admitted to a military hospital, Biselele was "extracted on May 13 at 3 a.m." by order of the Minister of Justice.

"This is not done anywhere, because every detainee has the right to life, physical and mental health and dignity," he said.

"Our client is a political prisoner," added the lawyer, who called for an intervention by the head of state.

"We ask the President of the Republic, under the law that gives him the power to regulate the issues of the prison regime of the detainees, to take a decision so that our client is released to get treatment," he said. "It is not a question of directing the decision of justice but to make respect his rights".

Contacted by AFP, the communication service of the Minister of Justice did not react immediately.

View more