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Monday, 10 January, 2000, 08:15 GMT
'Violent repression' in DR Congo

kinshasa Amnesty says violations took place far from the regions of conflict


The human rights group Amnesty International has condemned what it calls "a violent campaign of repression" by the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Amnesty's report, which follows a fact-finding visit in August 1999, says journalists and opposition activists have been detained, beaten and tortured.

Some have been put on trial and sentenced by military tribunals which bypass normal judicial processes.

"All forms of dissent, be they real or supposed, are severely repressed by the security forces," the group said in a statement.

Conflict

Forces loyal to President Laurent Kabila have been fighting rebel factions backed by Rwanda and Uganda since August 1998.

"The majority of human rights violations perpetrated by the security forces took place far from the regions of conflict," the group says.

Victims named by Amnesty International include Clovis Kadda, director of Alarm newspaper, who was allegedly beaten and whipped following his arrest in September.

It also mentions opposition politicians Stephane Ibanga and Mutua Ngwefa, who were arrested in May and also allegedly beaten before being released two weeks later

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See also:
07 Jan 00 |  Africa
Kabila expected at UN Congo talks
11 Dec 99 |  Africa
Grim prospects for Congo peace
20 Dec 99 |  Africa
Timeline: The conflict in the DR Congo
08 Jul 99 |  Africa
Congo peace plan: the main points

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