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Zaire: Recent arrests in Kinshasa signal crackdown on opposition to President

, Index number: AFR 62/010/1993

At least 22 known or suspected opponents of President Mobutu Sese Seko are currently being held in various detention centres in Kinshasa. There are fears that they are being tortured or ill-treated in initial incommunicado detention before being transferred to Kinshasa's Makala central prison. They include Mukengeshayi Kenge, the editor-in-chief of Le Phare newspaper; another editor, M Muboyayi and two members of his household are said to be in hiding. Mulumba Kandolo, a journalist from Le Potentiel and at least 18 members of the UDPS and other opposition parties in The Sacred Union, including Joseph Olenga Nkoyi, were arrested in April. Following a strike by civil servants in May, five trade union leaders, including Kuku Gedila and Ngandu Tshilombo were also detained.

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