Anti-government protesters block a road and burn tyres during a protest last year against a law that could delay the elections / File: Al-Jazeera

Congo: 15 anti-Kabila protesters sentenced to 3 years in prison

At least 15 opposition activists were sentenced to three years in prison in Lubumbashi for protesting against President Joseph Kabila, who has refused to relinquish power.

President Joseph Kabila’s mandate in the Middle African nation has expired and the opposition says delayed elections should be held promptly.

Mediators are working with the ruling party and the opposition to resolve the crisis, but the sentencing of a senior member of the Congolese opposition to five years in prison may affect the negotiation.

A court in Kinshasa found Franck Diongo guilty of arbitrary arrest and illegal detention after authorities held him liable for holding members of the presidential guard at his residence. The police said Diongo;s supporters beat the guards.

Activists say Diongo’s trial was “unjust” and demand his immediate release.

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