AMNESTY CALLS FOR URGENT ACTION TO PREVENT TORTURE OF BBC JOURNALIST IN KINSHASA JAIL

The circular says all ten, who were detained on 24 June, are at grave risk of torture . They have been taken to a detention centre in Kinshasa, which has a well-earned reputation for torture, and have been refused visits from lawyers and relatives. Amnesty International says it has not been informed of any of the detainees being charged with a criminal offence.

The circular appeals to Amnesty International supporters to send letters, emails or faxes to President Kabila and his justice minister, asking them to ensure that the detainees are not tortured, are given access to legal representation and granted immediate and unconditional release if they are not charged with a recognised criminal offence.

The ten detainees were arrested at or near the home of the National Prison Fellowship in Congo (FNPC) member Jonas Mukamba Kadiata by state security forces known as DEMIAP. Six are members of the FNPC and Amnesty says it has reason to believe their arrests may be directly linked to their participation in peaceful FNPC activities.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

' Human rights defenders peaceful political opponents journalists and trade unionists are regularly targeted by the Democratic Republic of Congo authorities in an attempt to stifle real and perceived opposition to the government.

'The security services are largely unaccountable and torture of detainees in their custody is widespread in the Democratic Republic of Congo,' she added.

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