DRC frees US diplomat

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DRC, diplomat, arrest
The diplomat was arrested alongside pro- democracy diplomats for holding a meeting the goverment has said was unlawful

The United States Diplomat to DRC who was arrested and detained on Sunday has been released, but the pro democracy activists who were arrested along with him are still being detained.

The diplomat was arrested alongside pro-democracy activists , journalists and Musicians for holding what officials say was an illegal gathering in the capital Kinshasa on Sunday.

They were all arrested during a press conference they had organized inside a hall in the capital.

The event was held by activists from Congo, Senegal and Burkina Faso at a cultural center and was attended by around 20 journalists and observers.

Around a dozen soldiers, both in uniform and civilian clothes, entered the hall as the news conference finished and began making arrests, a Reuters witness said, adding that some attendees were assaulted during the raid.

The soldiers also arrested the French owner of the center and more than a dozen musicians waiting outside the hall to perform. In total around 40 people were detained, the witness said.

“Some say that it was a press conference – an exchange between the members of the Burkinabe and Senegalese civil societies and the Congolese civil society,” Information Minister Lambert Mende told Reuters.

“The (intelligence) services believe, however, that it was a project organized by those who identify (themselves) as instructors in insurrection,” he said, confirming the arrests, including that of the diplomat.

The detentions followed a news conference in Kinshasa organized in support of a Congolese movement known as Filimbi that aims for greater youth participation in politics.

Mende did not say how many people were detained. He said the group was held for identification and investigation, and that foreign journalists had been released. He did not have information on whether the diplomat, activists or local journalists had been released.
The US state is yet to respond to the matter.

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