“Sentencing Paulin Makaya to two years in prison simply for taking part in a protest is yet another clear example of how freedom of expression has been restricted and opposition muzzled in Congo,” said Stephen Cockburn, Amnesty International Deputy regional director for West and Central Africa.
Amnesty International considers Paulin Makaya as a prisoner of conscience who should never have been arrested in the first placeStephen Cockburn, Amnesty International deputy regional director for West and Central Africa.
“Amnesty International considers Paulin Makaya as a prisoner of conscience who should never have been arrested in the first place, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.”
Paulin Makaya is the leader of ‘Unis Pour le Congo’ (UPC). He was arrested and detained on 23 November 2015, following his participation in protests against the referendum to change the Constitution in October 2015. He was found guilty of participating in an unauthorized protest, but two other charges against him – ‘complicity in arson of public buildings’ and ‘unlawful possession of weapons of war’ – were dismissed.