Police and protesters clash in Brussels
09 October 2010
Brussels. Hundreds of people have rallied in Brussels on Saturday to protest against the death of a Belgian of Congolese origin who died in a military detention room in the capital of DR Congo, Kinshasa, AFP reports.
The protest finished with clashes between the participants and police. Some of the protestors were hurling stones, bottles and road signs at the police officers. The police used water cannons to contain the riots.
On 29 September 30-year-old Armand Mudiandambu was arrested in Kinshasa for stoning the cortege of the President of DR Congo. Three days later he was found dead in his cell.
KINSHASA — A Canadian lawyer of DR Congolese origin on Friday denounced her arrest in Kinshasa, where police accused her of taking pictures of the arrest of a man who threw a stone at the presidential convoy.
“I never took any pictures. Despite that, they insisted on interrogating me for ‘investigative reasons.’ I find this absolutely deplorable because it was really an arbitrary arrest,” Nicole Bondo Muaka told AFP.
The lawyer, born in the former Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo, and resident in Canada since 1996, on September 29 found herself within 100 metres (yards) of the place where opposition activist Armand Tungulu was arrested for stoning the convoy of President Joseph Kabila.
Tungulu died in detention three days later, officially because he committed suicide in his cell, a position challenged by human rights groups.
Bondo Muaka was waiting for her car to be repaired when she received a call on her mobile phone. “I lifted my arm to see who it was. Just at that moment, a man who was a bit further away said ‘Arrest that woman, she’s filming what’s going on,” she said.
She was at once surrounded by half a dozen men in plainclothes “who asked to see my telephone. I refused, there was nothing to indicate they were police. I insisted on being taken to a police post, where I could hand in my phone so they could see whether there were any photos.”
A friend who was with her asked to go to the police station as well and was consequently arrested at the same time as Bondo Muaka.
The police found no photos when they checked the phone, but Bondo Muaka was still held for 48 hours at the police post and then transferred to the National Intelligence Agency (ANR), where she was interrogated again.
Her friend was freed on October 4 and Bondo Muaka was finally freed on October 6.
Bondo Muaka said that her arrest and detention were “worrying, because when you arrest somebody it must be because you suspect them of something,” but she stressed that she had not been physically mistreated.
Asked about Armand Tungulu, with whom she was suspected of being in collusion according to government spokesman Lambert Mende, Bondo Muaka said: “I learnt his first name in the office of the general of police. I never saw him nor met him in my life.”
The Canadian embassy declined to comment on the incident.